“The Great Gatsby” Literary Criticism

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Criticism is inevitable and unstoppable. Criticism can either be constructive or destructive. Criticism can affect a person’s daily life. It’s implausible to not criticize actions taken in front of us because we, human, have expected moral standards which can lead one to promote both the growth and compassion towards the person being criticized and oneself’s humanity. However, constructive criticism is necessary because it plays a role of supporting one’s actions towards growth and success.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,”he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” I’m certain the readers tend to criticize the characters in the book regardless of the situation provided. In the Great Gatsby, some readers assume Gatsby to be inhumane while others deem him to be a humane character. However, if we were to take take this advice when we read The Great Gatsby, our views on the novel would utterly change. The readers would stop viewing the characters from their perspective to avoid stereotype and discriminations throughout the story. Gatsby would turned out to be an ordinary man who is trying to win love from another woman while Daisy is a typical mother married to Tom. On the other hand, lack of criticism can strike the readers to bored because criticism means willing to give someone feedback and an opportunity to gain knowledge from other’s perspective. For instance, in real life in companies, criticism can provide benefits because it portrays that other companions care for you and guide you to success. Receiving positive or negative feedback, in any case, is beneficial because it means other people are invested in your future and willing to see your growth throughout your life. In contrast, harsh criticism can lead to downfall of the character. In the Great Gatsby, Gatsby, Nick, and Tom are all World War 1 veterans and, in different ways, trying to integrate back into the world. Gatsby has apparently made his fortune through bootlegging, the illegal distribution of alcohol. The book explores how the wealthy people of New York are happy to attend Gatsby’s parties and drink his booze, but they never fully accept him. These types of things would be of most interest to a historicist critic(“Literary Criticism of The Great Gatsby”). In the real world, people might pretend to cherish yet criticize at the back.

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Constructive criticism is necessary in order to promote one’s growth and improve one’s ability. It can be considered a win-win situation in the environment where people can freely share feedback and apply upon actions taken. Especially in collaborative working atmosphere, constructive feedback allows people an opportunity to improve and become a better person and workers. From these feedbacks and insights from our companions, we ought to expand our horizons and perspectives while enabling to create trusting relationships. Such open environment can motivate us to work harder and share our thoughts without allowing one’s personal feelings to be involved. “No-Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.” Despite the fact that Nick said in the beginning that he restrain himself from judging yet he criticized Gatsby till the end. Nonetheless, the criticism helped Gatsby to get closer to Daisy because it was somehow a tip from Nick. When one criticize, it motivates the person to try even harder which results in improving the performance and quality. However, the criticism should not solely be harsh but meaningful for others to work on it and meet other people’s expectations. Needless to say, everyone get criticized at one point on daily lives and eventually build up upon the judgements.

From the society’s perspective, most people consider criticism to be a villain as it led to uncountable tragedies in the past. Formerly depressed women show patterns of brain activity when they are criticized by their mothers that are distinctly different from the patterns shown by never-depressed controls, according to a new study from Harvard University(Lavoie). Thus, people ought to hold themselves back from criticizing other people to avoid others people’s feelings into jeopardy yet finding themselves eventually criticizing in the end. As people set their moral standards for certain things, they expect everyone else to meet their according expectation regardless of the situations given. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,”he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” “And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit.” Even though Gatsby himself restrain from criticizing anyone, he learnt that it has a limit which he meant he eventually ended up criticizing others inadvertently. Various reasons lead to criticism: defense mechanism, nature, and jealousy. In a sense, criticism seems to be a straightforward and simple process of ego defense. We do not criticize people due to disagreement to certain behaviors or attitude but because we feel our value depreciated by other’s behaviors. Critical people inclined to be discouraged and principally demanding of ego defense. Critical people turned out to be criticized in early years by guardians, at an age where criticism can effect harshly. Critical people have difficulties distinguishing criticism of their behavior completely from rejection, regardless of their efforts to try making the distinction between them. On the other hand, criticism can simply be a part of people’s nature. People live with it. People grow with it. People learn from it. Criticism can be blurt out of jealousy. Jealousy can lead to unintended criticisms.

All the criticisms are harsh and lead to negativity. People take criticism solemnly that causes many negativity in consequence. Some people do believe criticism is harsh and unnecessary. If one do not receive criticism, one ought to think what they posses or act is the best and nothing should be done to improve which can lead the person to stuck in the past and not moving forward with the others. It turns out criticism can sometimes be harsh but constructive criticism can be helpful and provide benefits towards the success in our life. Whenever you get criticism regardless of bad or good, be aware to not take it personally because the fact that someone criticize you is because they want you to get better at it.


  1. Lavoie, Amy, and Amy Lavoie. “A Mother’s Criticism Touches Nerve in Formerly Depressed.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 1 Apr. 2009, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/04/a-mothers-criticism-touches-nerve-in-formerly-depressed/.
  2. “Literary Criticism of The Great Gatsby.” Study.com, Study.com, study.com/academy/lesson/literary-criticism-of-the-great-gatsby.html.

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“The Great Gatsby” Literary Criticism. (2022, Feb 15). Retrieved from


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