The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a romantic tragedy about a man named Nick Caraway who gets involved with the life of Jay Gatsby and his not-so secretive love for Daisy Buchanan. A critic named Lionel Trilling once said, “Jay Gatsby is to be thought Of as standing for America itself. ” This is proven to be true because Gatsby moves up in life and pursues his dream. He is an example for the American way because he fails at certain things and succeeds at others. Like any other American, Jay Gatsby wants to become a model of excellence or others.
At the beginning Of his adulthood, he is just a “steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even sailor” (106) while working with the wealthy Dan Cody. When Nick first meets Gatsby, he admires how perfect he is made up to be, despite the rumors he heard at the first party he goes to at Gatsby house. “l saw the skins Of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest Of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawing of his broken heart. ” (71 Nick’s first impression of Gatsby is exactly what Gatsby wants.
Not only does Gatsby want to be noticed as a model of excellence, but he also will do anything to pursue his dreams… Even if it involves being a criminal. Tom says that “He found out that He and this Wolfishly bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. ” (141 Any normal person would deny this, but Gatsby asks, ‘”What about it? ” (141 Gatsby shows that the easy way out Of being the criminal in situations has become the realization for many.
Gatsby, like any unaware person, mistakes happiness with money. Nick describes the house as “a factual imitation of some Hotel De Vile in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres Of lawn and garden” (9). By holding parties every weekend, Gatsby wants others to realize how wealthy he is. Nick says that “people were not invited?they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby door. ” (45).
Since Gatsby doesn’t show up at any of his parties, e shows that he doesn’t have that much self-confidence but still is showing that he has a good reputation by throwing parties. Through failing at things and succeeding at others, Gatsby shows that he could easily “stand for America itself. ” America is definitely not perfect; although, they try their best to be perfect. Gatsby mindset works the same way. Gatsby is a pure American, because he has greed, corruption, optimism, and a want for happiness. Those are the basic things that the average American has. Drillings statement is definitely correct.