The Great Gatsby: a Modern Day Fairy Tale

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Christina Dadaian Stravino AP English 11 September 1, 2012 The Great Gatsby: A Modern Day Fairy Tale The Great Gatsby could, in a superficial respect, be considered a modern day fairy tale where a poor boy with an unfortunate background falls in love with a beautiful, rich girl who is unarguably out of his league. He fantasizes about being with her and gives up everything in pursuit of her love. However, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s version of the rags-to-riches fairy tale is just a little bit deeper than the typical Disney movie. The “prince,” Jay Gatsby’s, abrupt exposure to the reality of the ruthless rich proves to be fatal in the final stages of his winning Daisy, his “princess” and "forbidden fruit.” In a typical fairy tale two star-crossed lovers are kept apart by geographic distance, social status, or evil forces. They go through a series of hardships to be together and, at some point, are torn from their love. They inevitably reunite and live happily ever after. There are also stock characters that show up in various fairy tales. The hero, although not necessarily heroic, is the character who gets the most out of the story. There’s also the tragic hero who ends up sacrificing everything in pursuit of love or honor. The true love is the object of the hero’s affections and the helper is a character who gives advice or a valuable gift to the hero. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, a poor man in disguise, falls in love with a debutante named Daisy and she loves him back. They are separated by war and then reunited. Before Gatsby was deployed, Daisy’s mother “found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say good-by to a soldier who was going overseas” (75). However, by the time Gatsby returned, Daisy has married a rich man and Gatsby has only perfected his disguise. He continues to conceal his own past and believes Daisy will love him again
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