Opinion Essay about Most Important Relationship in The Great Gatsby
- Date:Jun 24, 2019
- Category:The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, a literary success in the 1920’s. This book may be a symbolic representation of the Jazz Age, an era of liberty in idea and deed. Many of the events that happen in his most famous novel are based from Fitzgerald’s early life. The story revolves around a man named Nick Carraway, who leaves his hometown in the Midwest after World War I to New York City. Here he explores the value of relationships, and the consequences of its destruction.
Relationships seem to be the focal point of the story, the point where everything is centered around. Daisy’s relationship with Jay Gatsby plays a very important part in the main plot of the novel.
Her affair with Gatsby five years ago brings about the main events in the story. Because of Gatsby’s extreme fiery desire to rekindle the love he used to share with Daisy, he asks Nick’s help to reunite them once more. This ensues more disorder and chaos in the different love relationships with the other characters. Tom, Daisy’s husband grows more and more suspicious. Later, because of this increasing suspicion, it leads to Tom discovering and revealing the true background of Gatsby. An extremely jealous husband has smashed his delusion of being an illustrious nobleman. Daisy is aghast even though Gatsby refuses to stop the pursuit; still anticipating for her call up until the exact instant he dies.
The novel also delves into the transformation of several characters in the story. The author explores the behavioral changes based on the shifting and societal standing and situations. In my opinion, the character that displayed the most significant change from the beginning to the end of the story is Nick Carraway.
Nick is, at the start, from the Midwest. After having travelled eastward during the war to Europe, he comes back to his hometown, suddenly finding it unenticing and bland. He becomes discontent with the life he has there. He hungers for a new and a much more dynamic and animated life. He, like most people during this time, believed in what was known as the American Dream, the idea that all can live prosperous lives if one strives hard. Because of this, Nick moves to New York City.
In New York, Nick is accepted as a bondsman as he continually fantasizes about New York and its mysterious women. In addition, his interest in Gatsby grows deeper while assessing how Gatsby was able to acquire such fame and affluence. Nick changes from a simple man living in the Midwestern to a man who worshipped the urban city life. “I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove.” (61-62)
As he embraced the culture of the metropolitan and of Gatsby’s lavish parties, he surrenders and gives in to the vices. At one time, he and others drink excessively at a party wherein he claims that this is the second time he has ever been drunk. In Chapter 2, although he despised the idea of Tom having a paramour, more in meeting her, Nick submissively agrees and goes with him.
At the same time he is so caught up in the life of the city, Nick also feels detached from the moneyed environment on the eastern coast, remembering what life was like back where he grew up. Originally from the West, he remains to be maladjusted to this lifestyle. He mingles with the people around him yet still feels like an outsider.
Little by little, as he witnesses and gets himself tangled up in the complicated strings attached in relationships surrounding him, his view of New York and of the American Dream that was so alive in his heart earlier is fading. Slowly but surely, the city life begins to disgust him, the city he once worshiped.
In Chapter 9, Nick’s lover in New York claims to be engaged with another just to upset Nick. However, he is barely troubled at all because of the aversion he feels after witnessing the tragedy that this chaos of relationships instigated. After abandoning this lifestyle, he moves back home to the West and leaves her behind.
In the last chapter of the book, Nick finally declares, “It seems that when one cannot travel westward any longer however, as with the settling of a continent, and runs out of new experiences, it is natural to once again turn backwards to the east and rediscover things already past. It is a thing which “we” all do.”
Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. The Great Gatsby. Harmondsworth (Royaume Uni): Penguin Books,