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Jay Gatsby, Hero or Villain?

Jay Gatsby, Hero or Villain?

Most people have heard of the book The Great Gatsby. A lot of people have read it although I assume most of them were made to read it on school. Whatever the case if you have read it you must have wondered about the title. Wasn’t Gatsby a materialistic gangster who made millions from selling illegal alcohol then tried to steal someone’s wife. Doesn’t sound very ‘great.’

Its supposed to be all okay because he was only doing it so he could win Daisy’s love back, but Daisy is married with a child and some people, myself included, think he doesn’t even really love her, He just wants her as a status symbol to show off like his new car. Why should we like this guy again?

It because of how pure he is. When he was younger he thought he would never achieve success as James Gatz, so he destroyed that identity and became a new man, free from all the vices that halt everyone else. He became the ideal candidate to achieve the American Dream.

Ever since then he has had one goal in life, to overcome every obstacle that stood between him and his dream. Since he had already created a whole new identity why not go a step further. If he needed to be educated, cultured and rich to impress Daisy then he would. Its like watching a pitcher throw a perfect game, its something you could never do yourself, but you really want the guy to succeed because you want to watch something special. That’s why the reader should be cheering him on, this is a once in a generation chance to prove everybody wrong and show the American Dream is attainable.

Is we look at some Great Gatsby quotes you see all the bad he did was because of the corruption of others. He had to lie about his past because of the upper classes notion that they were the ‘dominant race’ and they had to ‘beat down’ all challengers to their title. ‘Daisy wouldn’t marry’ him if he was poor, but if she wasn’t so shallow he never would have had to start his illegal business. He doesn’t even want his material possessions, the only worth he sees in them comes from ‘the measure of response it drew from [Daisy’s] well-loved eyes.

You feel sorry for him because he had such a clear and noble goal. He thought if he only worked hard enough that he could live the life of his dreams, but everyone else couldn’t accept that, they had to drag him down to their level and down their in the dust and corruption, Gatsby’s dream died, and so did he.

So maybe it he was a gangster, and maybe he lied about his past, but he only did it because it was the only way to survive in the broken and corrupt world that he lived in.