What Is Gatsby's Downfall

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The Great Gatsby is a book not only of love but also tragedy that leads back to ideas and dreams, but never reality. Jay Gatsby is a man of great wealth, and greater ambition. The Great Gatsby has many disguises that play a major role in several characters’ lives, but, most importantly, in Gatsby’s own. Jay Gatsby believes that he can get whatever he wants, even Daisy Buchanan, with his wealth. He has succeeded in getting money and living a life of luxury, but ultimately, he is never truly rich. The fact that Gatsby is never set in the present and is always focused on the past inevitably leads to his demise. Despite this, when Jay Gatsby was alive he seemed to never have been satisfied with himself; he seemed as though he was never happy. Gatsby’s caught in a paradox; despite the progress that he’s…show more content…
F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the Green light to represent the unreachable dream in the future that Gatsby seeks and wants, but that he finds to be unobtainable, as it is in the past. The first time that the green light is shown is also the first time that Nick sees Gatsby. Nick says that “he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away” (Gatsby 26). With Nick describing the green light as both “minute and far away” it appears as though he is saying that it is far to reach. Which will ultimately prove true for Gatsby. It also symbolizes the future that Gatsby sought after and believed in. The green light also seems to represent society’s desire and the seeming impossibility of achieving the materialistic American Dream. In the book, the green light is visible to everyone, but it is also very distant. To some characters, such as Tom, the green light is just that; a light. But, to others such as Gatsby the light symbolizes much more. It

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