The Great Gatsby Analysis

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“The orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” is the unattainable goal of those living in Tom and Daisy’s world—a world where lives are wasted chasing the unreachable (Fitzgerald 180). In his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald suggests that making any progress whatsoever toward this aspiration often requires people to establish facades that enable them to progress socially, but that a crippled facade will backfire and cause detriment to its creator. In the passage where Nick realizes who Gatsby is on page 48, Nick observes two different versions of Gatsby—one that is reassuring and truthful and another who “pick[s] his words with care” (Fitzgerald 48). Nick is at first attracted to Gatsby’s constructed…show more content…
Nick describes the smile as he would an entire person, demonstrating how he views it—and Gatsby’s facade—as such. Gatsby has designed his artificial character to put others at ease and to put himself in a place of power. As evidenced by Nick’s personifying diction related to his smile and his facade, this effort has been a success. As Gatsby’s smile “vanishes,” his facade does as well (Fitzgerald 48). Nick then utilizes perceptive diction to illustrate his disenchantment upon realizing that the Gatsby whom he had just met was not the true Gatsby. Now, Gatsby is an “elegant young rough-neck” (Fitzgerald 48). A ‘rough-neck’ either refers to an unrefined person who lacks sophistication, or an oil rig worker and an ‘elegant’ person possesses grace and poise. Generally, a ‘rough-neck’ is incapable of being ‘elegant’ and Nick notices this contradiction, using it to expose Gatsby’s shifting, inconsistent character. In addition, Nick also notes that Gatsby’s “elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd” and he “got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care" (Fitzgerald 48). One who treads carefully, exhibiting ‘care’ when selecting words, is either an English teacher or someone attempting to curate a specific version of themselves to display to others. Previously, Nick was blissfully unaware of the facade that Gatsby had spun into existence upon first interacting with him. Now, however, he recognizes

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