The Value of Jay Gatsby
Jay Gatsby, who is one of the main characters of the Great Gatsby, is a man with a mysterious background and an unknown personality. He doesn’t mention too much about his past except certain fabricated highlights of his life which were designed to impress others. The strange and humorous thing is that he carries articles of evidence that back up most of his lies to prove that he isn’t lying. Gatsby is also the kind of man that is used to getting what he wants no matter what the consequences are, causing him to be a very determined man that once has an idea in his mind won’t let it go until he accomplishes it. The things that Jay Gatsby values the most is money, to impress others and gain acceptance and most of all, having things his own way. In a manner, these are some of the characteristics of the American Dream and what people strive for when they come to America.
Gatsby is a man that is out to impress others and he tries dearly to gain acceptance from others but he is not always successful at this. This is clearly shown when he hosts these immense parties that he creates to impress others but to mostly lure in Daisy so that he can meet her again and finally show off his social status to her. But before this could happen, Nick, Gatsby’s new neighbor and cousin of Daisy, meets Nick. As they began to talk, Gatsby starts to discuss portions of his past to Nick and he seems the need to shows proof to back up his claims. For example when Nick was with Gatsby in his car heading toward New York, Gatsby boasts how he had gone to Oxford University and how he had been promoted to major and was given a momento from Montenegro. What was odd was that he had evidence to back up both of these claims. From his pocket he pulled out ‘a souvenir of Oxford days. It was taken in Trinity Quad;#8230;’; ‘It was a photograph of a half a dozen men in blazers loafing in an archway through which were visible a host of spires.’; (71) And then again he reached into his pocket and pulled out his war momento,’To my astonishment the thing had an authentic look.’; (71) showing that he was obviously trying to impress t Nick and prove himself correct so that he could fit in and look like a man with a normal past. Even though Gatsby was out to impress Nick with his proof and his stories, this disturbed Nick because this proof that Gatsby was showing him made Nick feel that he was trying to hide something. Gatsby also tries to impress Nick by telling him how, as a young man he lived in many of the famous capitals in Europe such as Paris, Venice and Rome. This act of trying to impress others doesn’t stop at Nick, because at his parties that Gatsby’s hosts, he has wide assortments of food and fine musicians that perform which shows off his wealth. But his main reason for having his parties was never fulfilled because he figured that Daisy would just happen to stumbled into one of his parties and then they would meet again but unfortunately this never occurred. These are just a few examples of how Gatsby tries to fit in with the upper class crowd and how he tries to gain acceptance and impress others.
Another value of Jay Gatsby’s is getting want he wants. Gatsby is a very quiet and serious character and when he says or wants something, he means it. This is seen throughout the whole story since Gatsby’s whole point in West Egg is to find his lost love, Daisy. But once he learns that Nick is Daisy’s cousin, having it his way he influences Jordan to ask Nick to have Daisy over to his house for tea so that he could meet Daisy again. You can also see here how Gatsby is a little shy and instead of just asking Nick or Daisy himself, he asks Jordan. In preparation for the meeting, Nick plans to lighten up the looks of the house for Daisy but since Gatsby insists on having it his way, Nick lets Gatsby decorate his house and have his own landscaper mow the lawn so everything would meet up to Gatsby’s standards. But these are just minor examples of how Gatsby always gets what he wants next to what he did with Daisy. For example, Gatsby attempts to break up the marriage between Daisy and Tom Buchanan and even though he almost achieves this it fails for him in the end. This act of having things his way is serious because he was so determined about getting Daisy back like it was before the war that he almost succeeded in stealing her away from her husband since he convinced her into saying that she no longer loved Tom. An example that shows how powerful Gatsby is and what he thinks he can do is shown in one scene between Nick and Gatsby when Nick says ‘I wouldn’t ask too much of her,’; Nick ventured ‘You can’t repeat the past.’; ‘Can’t repeat the past? Gatsby cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’; (105) This quote also shows how influential and determined Gatsby can be. When Gatsby met Daisy for the first time when Gatsby was just a poor little boy, I think one of the main reasons why Gatsby became attracted to Daisy was because she was a part of the upper class and acted so elegant. And I feel that this made him strive to become a member of the same social class since at the time he was poor and from the lower class. Like he had planned, he soon became rich like she was in no time but unfortunately he didn’t get Daisy because he was shot and killed in a mixed up between Daisy and Gatsby. This shows how Gatsby values having things his own way and getting what he wants.
Lastly, the value that Gatsby probably benefited the most from was his enormous amount of money. Money played a very important role for Gatsby because he uses it to certain ends to put on his elaborate parties in search for Daisy or for others that know her. Because of Gatsby’s enormous amount of money and ability to host such elaborate parties, Gatsby was able to meet Nick and have Jordan ask Nick to invite Daisy over, which led Gatsby in meeting Daisy again. So if it wasn’t for Gatsby great wealth and his ability to put on huge parties, he might have never meet Daisy again since he probably wouldn’t have met Nick or Jordan in the first place. I also think that if Gatsby weren’t rich, Daisy wouldn’t have agreed to leave Tom for Gatsby since she was already living in a wealthy environment. So Gatsby’s wealth greatly benefited him when it came for Daisy to make her decision. So in a sense I feel that both Daisy and Gatsby are right for each other since they are both greedy in their own ways and have a desire for wealth. I also feel that another one of the main reasons why Gatsby became so infatuated with Daisy in the first place was because she was wealthy and this is probably where Gatsby first gained his appreciation for wealth and a reason for him to desire it. This shows Gatsby’s appreciation for wealth and how he values it.
These values which Jay Gatsby respect in a way fits into the overall view of the American Dream. This is because when people think of America and the American Dream, they think of wealth, acceptances and the endless possibilities of what can happen. This is perfectly proven by looking at what happened with Gatsby since he started off poor, is unknown and has no power but at the end of the story, Gatsby is rich, widely known and became a very powerful man. And this shows how Jay Gatsby’s values coincide with those of the American Dream. In a way, Jay Gatsby values, which he could consider his American Dream, didn’t work out for him in the end since he was never able to marry Daisy, which was his main goal, and above being able to marry Daisy he is also murdered. This shows how the values for Jay Gatsby weren’t right for him since everything didn’t work out as they were planned to be.