Nick Carraway American Dream Essay

Nick Carraway American Dream Essay-68
He comes back from war and is heartbroken that the lover he won by pretending to be rich has chosen someone who is actually rich.He then commits (literally) untold crimes to acquire riches greater still and sets out to tease her predilection for nice shirts until she loves him again.

He comes back from war and is heartbroken that the lover he won by pretending to be rich has chosen someone who is actually rich.He then commits (literally) untold crimes to acquire riches greater still and sets out to tease her predilection for nice shirts until she loves him again.

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Nick went to Yale, served in the War, comes from a good family, and has a good profession, but all these markings of “good breeding” have not stopped him from feeling “both within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled” by the East.

That Gatsby, the center of enchantment, should die living out Nick’s dream must be disturbing and resonant—almost creepy. He is relatable, sympathetic, and has what we think we want; yet he has been destroyed by the very system that made him and that we made.

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And the American Dream bit is best distilled from the Manifest Destiny furor Nick works himself into on the last page, comparing Gatsby to the Dutch settlers, saying, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.” Gatsby explicitly has no such tragic notion of the future and, far from feeling he has “lost the old, warm world,” he is still hot on Daisy’s trail when he is shot, still scheming to “repeat the past” because he’s still unaware she has chosen her life with Tom.

The reality is that Gatsby is not a tragic dreamer but rather the kind of entitled, status-obsessed crook you used to glower at from Zuccotti Park.nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time.” All emphasis mine. Imagine giving such a compliment and its subject “nodding politely” and then suddenly stretching some practiced grin across his face—so practiced that even Nick calls is “that smile.” After the hydroplane ride and the parties and the performed familiarity, after asking Jordan to ask Nick if Gatsby can ask Nick to ask Daisy over, after assessing the progress he’s made toward winning Nick’s trust (“Look here, old sport, what’s your opinion of me, anyhow?”), Gatsby finally pops the question: can I use your, oh, conveniently proximate house and relation to Daisy to ensnare her where she will be awed by my possessions and then love me openly?Rather the book is a necessary step toward self-knowledge.This “unreliable” story is precisely what he relies on.Gatsby’s death is not some cathartic finale to his dreaming, not his just deserts or providence—he is shot by mistake, because Wilson thinks he killed his wife. The first time Nick sees it he says that it “faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.” When Gatsby smiles again at the end of a party, Nick feels “there seemed to be a pleasant significance in [Nick’s] having been among the last to leave, as if [Gatsby] had desired it all the time.” The last time we see the smile is the last time the two men see each other; as Nick leaves he shouts back, “They’re a rotten crowd.So this impression Nick left when you first read the book can be safely put aside. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” In response, Gatsby “first …When two girls recognize Jordan at a party (the honor is not mutual), Jordan responds with what Nick thinks is tact, but which is in fact sheer enigma: ‘You’ve dyed your hair since then,’ remarked Jordan, and I started, but the girls had casually moved on and her remark was addressed to the premature moon, produced like the supper, no doubt, out of a caterer’s basket.I have no idea why she would say such a thing to the moon, and neither does Nick, but we can feel him trying to loosen up, trying to take this world on its own worthless terms.After a successful campaign to manipulate his neighbor (our Nick) into setting up an ambush, Gatsby convinces Daisy to throw her life away, neglect her own feelings (that she did once love Tom), and set off with him.But all Gatsby’s traps and trappings aren’t enough and Daisy crumbles at the confrontation with her husband. Nick himself confesses that, after a month of friendship, he had “found, to [his] disappointment, that [Gatsby] had little to say.” The friendship is built principally on Nick’s fantasies: for example, Gatsby’s smile.

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