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The Ambiguous Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald´s The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays
Qualities like absolute moral perfection are even less attainable than world peace, and they have no place in quality literature. No one relates to the main character that never lets his emotions get the better of him once in a while. Truly powerful characters require at least some degree of moral ambiguity. Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby engages in illegal liquor sales and business with the man who rigged the World Series, which combine with his purest of intentions and virtually universal kindness to create some definitely ambiguous morals. Due to that ambiguity, Gatsby’s character remains imperfect and one whom readers can entirely relate to, while promoting the prominent theme in the novel of the American Dream’s…show more content…
Before Nick could even manage to answer for himself Gatsby jumps in, answering for him “Oh, no…This is just a friend. I told you we’d talk about that some other time” (71). Immediately it becomes clear that Wolfsheim has some prior business connections with Gatsby. On its own, that would be no cause for alarm. Yet in not much time at all Gatsby tells Nick who the mysterious Mr. Wolfsheim is himself, describing him as “a gambler,” nonchalantly adding that “he’s the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919” (73). Suddenly connections with this man raise a lot of flags, as we have just begun to discover the sort of illegal activities Gatsby’s been engaged in during his pursuit of wealth. This is a man whom most find villainous, taking such a treasured American pastime and thoroughly corrupting it by fixing the results all together. Yet Gatsby defends the gambler, saying “he just saw the opportunity,” but “they can’t get him, old sport. He’s a smart man” (73). To most, that kind of defense wouldn’t really matter all too much, wrong is wrong no matter how it’s spun. Yet the bad guys never think they’re the bad guys after all, and Gatsby sees no problem with what Wolfsheim did.

Despite his purest of goals, there were a few who found fault with what Gatsby did in his pursuit of them. Tom probably disliked him more than anyone else, especially after he found out precisely what Gatsby did with Wolfsheim.
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