Gatsby - “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Gatsby - “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jay Gatsby's Nuanced Portrait in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

"The Great Gatsby," a classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a gripping examination of the intricacies of human nature, society expectations, and the American Dream. The mysterious Jay Gatsby, a character whose complex layers necessitate a comprehensive investigation, is at the center of this story. We will examine Gatsby's character in this article, using a methodical approach to shed light on the several aspects that add to his complexity in the narrative.

Determine the Type of Character

Without a doubt, Jay Gatsby is a dynamic figure. He puts on a front of wealth and assurance right on, but as the story progresses, we see the deep interior conflicts and changes that come to characterize him. Gatsby becomes a character whose journey is essential to the examination of issues like the fallacy of the American Dream and the effects of obsessive love as a result of his development throughout the book.

Consider the Character's Place in the Narrative

Gatsby is the protagonist and the name of the book, making him the main character and the center of attention. But his function goes beyond that of a conventional hero. The Jazz Age is best summed up by Gatsby, who personifies the glamour and despair of the Roaring Twenties. Gatsby, an enigmatic millionaire with a questionable history, comes to represent the unfulfilled promises of the American Dream as well as the results of unbridled ambition.

Analyze the Past of the Character

The mystery surrounding Gatsby's upbringing heightens the fascination with him. His metamorphosis into Jay Gatsby, born James Gatz to impoverished farming parents, is evidence of his unwavering quest for achievement and social approval. His childhood has shaped his character as a self-made man motivated by the urge to rise beyond his lowly beginnings by instilling in him a desire for riches and status.

Examine the Personality Traits of the Character

Gatsby has a complicated personality made up of several characteristics that both draw people to him and turn them away. He seems charming, charismatic, and full of unwavering hope. Beneath this exterior, though, is a man tormented by loneliness, fears, and a strong desire for a past that eludes him. Gatsby's dual nature is demonstrated by his ability to move between social groups and hide who he really is.

Positive attributes like his romantic idealism and everlasting hope are contrasted with negative ones like his fixation with the past and the dubious methods he used to accumulate his money. The paradoxes in the American Dream itself are reflected in Gatsby's mysterious character.

Assess the Characters' Interactions

awareness Gatsby's character intricacies requires an awareness of his relationships. His unfulfilled love for Daisy Buchanan, a lady he met and fell in love with during World War I, is at the heart of the story. Despite Daisy's marriage to Tom Buchanan, his unwavering pursuit of her emphasizes the subject of unfulfilled desires. The sexual entanglements and catastrophic outcomes of Gatsby's relationships serve as a stark reminder of the moral rot and cultural expectations that characterized the Jazz Age.

In addition, Gatsby's friendships—like his one with the narrator, Nick Carraway—elucidate the character's capacity to establish sincere bonds in spite of his flashy manner of life. These links aid in Gatsby's development and demonstrate the value of interpersonal ties on personal development.

Examine the Behavior of the Character

Through Gatsby's deeds, we are able to understand his inner conflict and intentions. For instance, his elaborate gatherings are more than just grandiose get-togethers; they are frantic attempts to entice Daisy and bring back the past. Gatsby's illegal involvement in bootlegging and other illegal activities highlights the extent he will go to in order to achieve his goals of becoming accepted by society and realizing his aspirations.

Furthermore, Gatsby's unrelenting search for an idealized past demonstrates his unwillingness to acknowledge the passing of time. Despite being motivated by ambition and love, his deeds finally result in his terrible death.

Determine the Conflicts of the Character

Throughout the story, Gatsby battles internal and external conflicts. He fights the demons of his past inside himself, tormented by the memory of the young, destitute James Gatz. Externally, Gatsby must overcome the impossible task of reconciling his romanticized view of the past with the harsh reality of the present.

The external struggle between Daisy and her husband, Tom Buchanan, embodies the struggle between old and new money and represents the social unrest of the day. Gatsby's incapacity to resolve these disputes amicably adds to the book's examination of the fundamental weaknesses in the American Dream.

Evaluate the Character's Development or Evolution

The painful conclusion that his goals are unachievable marks Gatsby's maturity. Even with his riches and social position, he can't seem to fit in with East Egg's elite circles; he's still an outsider. Though charming, his idealism and innocence finally bring him to ruin.

When Daisy's genuine sentiments are revealed and she decides to stay with Tom, Gatsby's maturation reaches a turning point. Gatsby's illusions are dashed at this very time, sending him into a deep state of sorrow. His development is therefore marked by a decline into disillusionment, which ends tragically in his death.

Use Proof to Back Up Your Analysis

Let us analyze some of the novel's most important sections to support these observations. For example, Fitzgerald 45 describes Gatsby's parties as "elaborate spectacles of wealth and excess," which are a symptom of his desperate endeavor to get Daisy's attention. Moreover, Gatsby confides in Nick during their conversation, saying, "Can't replay the past? Naturally, you can. (Fitzgerald 110) demonstrates his resistance to acknowledging change and time's transience.

Determine the Significance of the Character

To sum up, Jay Gatsby is a complex character whose relevance goes beyond the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story. Gatsby is a cautionary story about the perils of unfettered ambition, the ramifications of societal expectations, and the elusive nature of happiness. He is the personification of the American Dream.

The tragic journey of his character highlights how the story explores the disillusionment that characterized the Jazz Age. In addition to his unfulfilled love for Daisy, Gatsby is remembered for being a representative of a time of excess, moral decay, and the transient nature of dreams.

The History of the Character

James Gatz's humble beginnings as a child lay the groundwork for Gatsby's unwavering quest of achievement. His wish to rise above his lowly beginnings and achieve the social standing that was denied to him as a young man drives his metamorphosis into Jay Gatsby. His upbringing molds his personality, emphasizing the contrast between the self-made millionaire and the destitute young man he once was.

Characteristics of the Soul

Gatsby's character is a patchwork of inconsistencies. His lavish gatherings and unwavering conviction in the potential of reliving the past demonstrate his charm and optimism. On the other hand, his illicit actions and fixation with an idealized portrayal of Daisy expose a more nuanced and sinister side. Gatsby's ability to blend in with the crowd while hiding who he really is illustrates the dichotomy that makes him who he is.

Motives and Objectives

Gatsby's The American Dream and love serve as the main sources of motivation. He considers Daisy to be the personification of his hopes and desires, thus he wants to win her back. Gatsby believes that achieving wealth and social status will help him win Daisy's heart and rise beyond his lowly beginnings, which is why he pursues these goals relentlessly.

Difficulties and Conflicts

Gatsby battles rivalry and social expectations on the outside, as well as psychological issues rooted in his history. His external confrontation with Tom Buchanan and his interior battle with the memory of James Gatz represent the difficulties he faces in his pursuit of love and acceptance in society. The sad course of Gatsby's life is influenced by his incapacity to resolve these conflicts.


The core of Gatsby's persona are his connections, especially his friendship and love for Daisy and Nick. While his sincere bond with Nick exposes a more vulnerable and real side, his love involvement with Daisy emphasizes the idea of unfulfilled dreams. Gatsby's development is shaped by these relationships, illustrating the influence of interpersonal relationships on personal progress.

Archetypes and Symbolism

Gatsby is a metaphorical person who stands for the American Dream's attraction as well as its disillusionment. The green light at Daisy's dock's end, his mansion, and his lavish parties serve as metaphors for the excesses and unmet expectations of the Jazz Age. Gatsby himself is a tragic hero; his idealism, his fatal fault, is what brings him to ruin.

The Character's Arc

The melancholy journey of Gatsby's character arc is characterized by hopelessness and disappointment. The hard reality of unrequited love and cultural expectations replace his initial optimism and hope. The disclosure of Daisy's decision marks a turning point in his storyline and ultimately causes him to descend into catastrophe. The character development of Gatsby reflects the general disenchantment of the Jazz Age society.

Speech and Conversation

Aspects of Gatsby's personality are exposed through his speech habits and interactions. His attempt to project an extravagant persona is evident in the bombastic words he uses to describe his gatherings and goals. This language's contrast with his vulnerable times, like his confession to Nick, gives him more depth as a character and highlights the frailty hiding below the self-assured façade.

Historical and Cultural Background

The historical and cultural milieu of the 1920s greatly influenced Gatsby's ideas and behavior. The period of economic prosperity and social excess known as the Roaring Twenties serves as the setting for Gatsby's quest for fortune and prestige. Gatsby's relationships are impacted by the aftermath of World War I and the shifting dynamics of gender roles, which give his persona additional depth within the historical setting.

Analytical Angles

Analyzing opposing viewpoints on Gatsby improves our comprehension of the man. According to academics and literary critics, Gatsby represents the hollowness that lies behind society's extravagance and the death of the American Dream. Taking into account many interpretations deepens our understanding of Gatsby's complexity and Fitzgerald's insightful observation on the changing social landscape of the era.

Put Your Analysis in Order

We can use a chronological or thematic structure to arrange this analysis in a sensible way. A chronological method may trace Gatsby's development through the story, but a thematic one could focus on his upbringing, relationships, conflicts, and eventual demise. Both strategies provide a logical flow that is consistent with the story's development.

Present Proof

It is imperative that observations be backed up by actual quotes and textual situations throughout the investigation. This guarantees the validity of the analysis and enables readers to interact with the original content directly. The analysis becomes more authentic and nuanced when it makes reference to particular sections, such Gatsby's speech or significant points in the book.

In summary

In summary, Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" is a complicated character whose intricacies reflect the many levels of the book itself. Gatsby's dynamic character, which is derived from his upbringing, character attributes, interpersonal connections, and conflicts, plays a part in the recurring themes of the American Dream, societal expectations, and the transience of human hopes.

By closely analyzing Gatsby's persona, we are able to acquire a deeper understanding of the larger historical and cultural background of the Jazz Age. The Gatsby symbolism, archetypes, and language enhance our understanding of the story's subtleties. We can better comprehend Gatsby as a representation of a time that was characterized by both grandiosity and disillusionment by including critical viewpoints.

In the end, Gatsby's significance comes from his tragic story as well as his status as a timeless symbol of the difficulties involved in pursuing one's aspirations. This essay, which we are celebrating one year later, is proof of the timeless appeal of "The Great Gatsby" and its mysterious lead character, Jay Gatsby.