Theme Of Control In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

Trying to Control the Uncontrollable

Control is often the characteristic that individuals think that they always have. This concept is seen in Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, where characters of high economic status often try to control every aspect of their lives. Fitzgerald’s story, which follows a middle-class character, Nick Carraway, describes his experiences with these kinds of characters who try to control everything in their environment. Nick’s disdainful description of the environment, people, and his encounters exposes the calamitous results of trying to control everything in one’s life. Throughout Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby, the motif of control represents the characters’ failure to achieve their goals, further proving that individuals have limited control on their path to a fulfilling life.
Tom’s recurring gesture of grabbing and controlling Nick’s arm exposes his desire for social and physical superiority over Nick; however, Nick never feels intimidated or controlled by Tom, ultimately exposing that one cannot influence the other’s thoughts of them. Nick’s contemptuous thoughts about Tom arise when Tom says, “‘I’ve got a nice place here’...turning me around by one arm” (Fitzgerald 7). Tom, at the beginning of the novel, is pressuring Nick to be more aware of the beautiful house that Tom owns by turning Nick around by one arm. Although Tom is trying to force Nick to see that Tom is wealthier than him, Tom is expending lots of energy trying to

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