The Great Gatsby Analysis

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F. Scott Fitzgerald describes the ambitions and the downfall of James Gatsby, a wealthy 1920s bootlegger in The Great Gatsby, hinting at the fallacy regarding the American Dream--one cannot achieve success simply through labor and valor. Gatsby, a poor officer, spent five years earning money in order to gain his lover, Daisy Buchanan’s, attention. Daisy, a wealthy, beautiful young woman, not only instigates Gatsby’s quest for wealth, but also causes his death; Gatsby is murdered because he takes the blame when Daisy accidentally kills Myrtle. Nick Carraway, the protagonist, is the primary narrator of Gatsby’s story. At times, Jordan Baker, a professional golfer and Nick’s girlfriend, narrates the novel to describe past events. However, …show more content…

He writes that she has a “jauntiness about her movements” (50), raises her chin “a little jauntily” (177) and is a “clean, hard, limited” (79) person who has a “hard, jaunty body”. It is important to note Fitzgerald’s repeated use of the words “hard” and “jaunty” when describing Jordan. The words “hard” and jaunty” suggest masculinity--confidence, severity, and energy are not effeminate traits. Unlike Jordan, however, Daisy possesses softer, more traditionally feminine qualities. Fitzgerald states that Daisy has an expression of “unthoughtful sadness” (13), contrary to Jordan’s tenacity and self-belief. In addition, Daisy moves gracefully and slowly, whereas Jordan’s steps are deliberate and energetic. When Fitzgerald first introduces Daisy to the reader, he writes that she “ballooned slowly to the floor” (8). This portrayal evokes a different image than the words “jaunty” and “hard”. Fitzgerald’s use of balloon imagery suggests that Daisy lacks purpose and substance in her movements; she is flimsy and airy compared to Jordan. Daisy does not have the focus and cognizance Jordan bears, which differentiates the concept of the traditional woman from the modern woman. Fitzgerald also emphasizes Jordan’s cognizance and intelligence. Jordan is keen and conscientious of her surroundings, unlike her other female counterparts. When Nick first meets Jordan, he remarks that she has a “wan, charming, discontented face” (11) and he takes a liking to her, even though she had just

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