The ‘Greatness’ of Jay Gatsby Jay Gatsby is an accurate product of the Jazz age. His ‘Greatness’ can be scrutinised in several ways however his honesty and belief in the concept of the American Dream sets him apart from the other characters in the novel. In an age of Emotional degradation and loss of faith Gatsby proves to be a source of inspiration with his near idyllistic love for the now married Daisy Faye. His love for Daisy is often compared with a medieval chivalric love and this love is contradicted with the values of the age they happen to be living in.
Another such irony is that Daisy the object of his worship is unworthy of his devotion, therefore his entire faith in the dream lies misplaced. The misplaced faith in this dream is reflected in the material wealth portrayed throughout the novel ,the ‘house’ of a knight being replaced with automobiles synonymous then with wealth and power. The means he uses to achieve his wealth are used to question his greatness too, as he was involved in bootlegging and the setting up of drug stores in a time when such things were illegal.
However these actions can be overlooked as he too like the rest of the characters is a product of the jazz age where dishonesty and lack of moral values were common character traits in order to be successful. The factor that sets Gatsby apart from Jordan for example however is his continued belief in the ‘Dream’ until his own demise. Nick Carraway plays a large part in creating the aura of ‘Greatness’ that surrounds Gatsby even after he is gone.
Nick has a fondness for Gatsby with quotes such as ‘There was something gorgeous about his personality. ’ Throughout the novel we are given a depiction of Gatsby that borders on that of a tragic hero. At one point in the novel Gatsby is even said to have ‘Committed himself to the following of the Grail. ’ Further emphasising his vain attempts to win over the unattainable Daisy. Aside from the impact he created on people that depict him as Great, his own reinvention of himself is something that can truly be commended if not anything else.
From his planning of a daily schedule to his contribution in the war. His ambition to rise is a remarkable example of an unwavered belief . Though he achieves this through illegal means nonetheless proves that anyone who believes in the dream can surely achieve their own success. When he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anchor he ‘witnessed the beginning of his Career’ The yacht represented all the ‘beauty and glamour in the world. ’ However Gatsby’s self recreation s somewhat idyllistic from the relentless materialism of Cody, as he never inherited any money left from him by Cody, showing a self reliance that is vastly different from the old wealth of East Egg. Therefore in a time when friendship, loyalty and love was all based on Material success Gatsby had the ‘Greatness’ to carry forth his dream till his death before which he agreed to take the blame for Myrtles death as ‘ he was clutching on to some last hope. ’ At a chance with Daisy. Proving himself to truly be a product of greatness in a time with misplaced loyalties even among friends and loved ones.