Essay about The Great Gatsby: The Past is Forever in the Present

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Time remains a universal continuation of the past into the present and bears a strong hold on the future. The destruction of satisfaction in history withholds the contentment of the future with an impeding sense of unalterable guilt. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates “the past is forever in the present” through numerous literary and narrative techniques, suggesting that memories serve as crucial components in the development of individuals. Fitzgerald implements a first party narrative through Nick Caraway’s recollection of the events of the plot in order to effectively demonstrate the scarring, yet beneficial, effects of memories on the current mindset of individuals. The story is of Nick’s past, whose memories are…show more content…
Fitzgerald reveals the detrimental impacts of living in the past, through the character James Gatz and his numerous flashbacks responsible for Gatz’s development into the character of Jay Gatsby. Gatz invented the character of Gatsby, providing a fallacious back-story, in order to convince himself and hopefully Daisy that there remains a possibility of love despite their difference in economic backgrounds. Nick reveals, “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this (Platonic) conception he was faithful to the end” (132). Gatsby changed his past, hoping to change the outcome of his future happiness. Fitzgerald reveals Gatsby’s construed misconception of himself through flashbacks in order to emphasize the effect the past has on the present.

Fitzgerald furthers this claim through flashbacks with Gatsby presenting Daisy with an ideal illusion as well. Once Gatsby attempts to change his past, Gatsby’s true remembrance of Daisy becomes misconstrued in the very same way. Nick describes Gatsby’s struggle with coping with the non-Platonic reality of the present as “There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion” (98). Gatsby instills Daisy with an idealized perfection associated with his biased memories of the past; however this view decays away as Gatsby begins to realize that Daisy’s

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