The Great Gatsby

June 8, 2010
By Anonymous

What is the importance and the relationship of the past and our construction of the past in the novel?

The time in the novel “The Great Gatsby” flows evenly but is broken into the past, present and future. Since we only live in the present, planning our futures and dreams we try to live in the past and it restricts our future. Throughout Fitzgerald's novel, Gatsby wasted time and his life for a single dream than was his illusion of his perfect future.
Though his dream is unattainable Gatsby continues to chase after it and that makes him a strong character.

Gatsby can’t stop thinking about Daisy and how they belong together. He suffers under the fact, that she married tom when he was in the war. But one important reason why Daisy did that was because she was lonely. On page 159 she says: “she wanted her life shaped now, immediately--and the decision must be made by some force—of love, of money, of unquestionable practically—that was close at hand.” She was lonely, she longed for someone. But Gatsby was not there for her. He was gone. Tom was there for her when she needed someone and that’s why she decided for him.
Nick describes Gatsby as“…The Son of God” which he means ironically. Nick referrers to Jesus, when he said the son of god. Jesus’ father always knew what Jesus was doing. Gatsby’s father does not know a lot about his son. Also Jesus was selfless. Gatsby is recreating himself trying to fill the big hole inside of him. So is it obvious that Nick is ironically when he calls Gatsby “The Son of God”.

On page 158 in the flashback it describes Gatsby’s time in the war: “He was worried now—there was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy’s letters.” You can compare her with a balloon. She wanted to see Gatsby so badly but he didn’t come. So she took what was there and that was Tom. She was nervous because she could not wait anymore and she was sick of being alone.

The green light on Daisy’s place at East Egg, which is almost not visible from Gatsby’s West Egg lawn, represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. In chapter one he reaches towards it in the darkness and later in the book we find out that it symbolizes his goal, daisy, and the light should lead him there. But the light is actually already in his past, he just don’t want it to be true. Green is used a lot in the book. The money, the green light or hope, which most people connect with the color green.

When Gatsby returns from the war he wants to win Daisy back and he realizes that the only way to get Daisy to love him again was through money. Gatsby showed his logging for Daisy when “he stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way” (p. 25) and Nick, the narrator of the story, having seen him do this, “I could have sworn he was trembling” (p. 26).

To Gatsby, Daisy is the perfect woman, who is beautiful and intelligent, however in reality she is not as perfect as she is in Gatsby’s imagination. Gatsby was so obsessed and focused on his dream that he didn’t even notice that Daisy is in his future. Nevertheless he took some risks such as blaming himself for Myrtles death with the car accident. You could almost say that his love to Daisy made him blind. Gatsby never achieved his goal because George Wilson kills him since he was believed to be the killer of Myrtle. But we can be sure about one thing. He earned his respect from other people by chasing his dream.

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