Is his novel the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates Gatsby as a character who becomes great. He begins life as just an ordinary, lower-class, citizen. But Gatsby has a dream of becoming wealthy. After meeting Daisy, he has a reason to strive to become prominent. Throughout his life, Gatsby gains the title of truly being great.
Even before Gatsby is introduced, he is hinted at being out of the ordinary. The first evidence of this is when Nick says, “Gatsby turned out all right at the end.” (2) Nothing was known about Gatsby at the time and Nick is already saying Gatsby was okay. There's a air of mysteriousness surrounding Gatsby. Everyone knows of him, but no one knows who he really is or where he comes from. Even at our first glance of Gatsby, he's reaching out for something only he can see.
There were many stories flying about Gatsby but no one knew what to really believe. In on instance Jordan made the comment, “I think he killed a man.” (49) Even when Gatsby confessed about his past he didn't always tell the truth. He told Nick he inherited great wealth, but in reality, Gatsby gained his wealth on his own. Even though Gatsby lied, the fact that he made himself what he was makes him even that much greater.
When Gatsby was still James Gatz, he had a dream of leaving his life on the farm behind and become part of the upper-class. Even Gatsby's father knew when he said, “If he'd lived, he'd of been a great man.” (169) Little did his father know that Gatsby was already great. Gatsby didn't always do the right thing to gain his wealth but he was always good at heart.
His first real break in the outside world was when he met his best friend Dan Cody. Gatsby was seventeen at the time and had just left his life on the farm. Cody was a wealthy man of fifty and he showed Gatsby the ways of the world. It was said that Cody found Gatsby to be “ ... quick and extravagantly ambitious.” (101) He took Gatsby in and treated him almost as a son. Gatsby was to inherit some of Cody's wealth after his death but was stripped of his inheritance by Ella Kaye.
After Gatsby was introduced to Daisy, she was the only thing that mattered to him. It takes a great man to have that kind of love for one person. Even though Daisy didn't deserve Gatsby's love, he was loyal to her to the end. Daisy was both the main cause of Gatsby's greatness, and also the only cause of foolishness in his life. His absolute love and devotion for her is what destroyed him, even before his death.
Gatsby and Nick both served as officers in the war and he told Nick “Then the war came ... it was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die ... ” (66) Gatsby knew he wasn't good enough for Daisy and death would've been an easy way out. However, Gatsby survived the war, and with honors as well. Even during war times Gatsby demonstrated his greatness in being a superb soldier. Upon his return to America, he concentrated on winning Daisy back.
Gatsby's life between the war and when he's introduced in the book is quite vague. It is known later that he at some point went into business with a man named Meyer Wolfsheim. Wolfsheim was a man with a shady past and possible connections with the Mafia. Gatsby, however, hides his connections quite well even if the stories do fly. Wolfsheim claims to have made Gatsby the man that he was.
Throughout the book Gatsby is a gracious host and yet a mysterious one. He is rarely seen at his extravagant parties but doesn't really seem to mind that he misses them. It is found out later that he only held the parties to see if Daisy would show. He always handles himself like a true gentleman. Even in awkward moments, such as his meetings with Daisy's husband Tom. There was one time when Gatsby lost his cool and that was when he was to see Daisy for the first time in five years. He suddenly became as giddy as a schoolboy. He had worked for so long to please Daisy and seeing her would be the moment of truth.
Gatsby liked to show off his wealth to his friends. He gives tours of his home to Daisy and Nick and he always has an extraordinary explanation for his possessions. And yet he handles his greatness with dignity. He's also proud of his flashy car but never knew it would be the cause of his downfall. he had few house guests but treated them quite fairly.
When Daisy came back into Gatsby's life it was like floating on air for him, at least in the beginning. She'd loved Gatsby but didn't have the patience to wait for him. She was content to have an affair with Gatsby but still be married to Tom. She didn't want to make a decision. She was forced to make one and her choice devastated Gatsby. He never actually admitted that he'd lost but deep down he knew. He expected Daisy to choose him and couldn't accept any other response. He'd worked too hard and too long to win.
Towards the end Gatsby wouldn't give up on Daisy. After the accident in which Daisy killed Mrs. Wilson, it was the end for her and Gatsby. And yet “He couldn't possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope ... ” (148) Daisy couldn't possibly face the fact that she might go to jail and she knew Gatsby would take her blame. Taking her blame would be the last great thing Gatsby would do for Daisy. “He felt married to her, that was all.” (149)
Gatsby might have been able to avoid being killed by Mr. Wilson but he really didn't have any more reason to live. Daisy was back with Tom, he'd lost most of his so called friends who used to party at his house, and he really didn't have any real friends, except for maybe Nick. Nick saw the greatness in Gatsby. He even said to Gatsby, “They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.” (154) That would be the last time he spoke to Gatsby.
It was sad after Gatsby's death that so few people came to mourn him. His father showed up after reading about his son's death in a newspaper. Nick was always there until the end, and a former guest of one of Gatsby's parties came. Gatsby was a great man who had touched few people, but in irreversible ways. He made Nick realize what wealth could do to a person. He had held Daisy's love throughout her marriage, even if she did abandon him in the end. And he was always a topic of discussion wherever he went.
Gatsby truly was a great man. He came from an ordinary background and built himself up to where he ended. He loved Daisy unconditionally and made a life for himself. It takes a great person to take what they have, and get to where they dream to be. He was loyal to the end, never straying from his dream once.