To Nick, this quote dissects Gatsby’s personality and makes sense why the external world perceives him the way they do. Gatsby’s smile shows off his magnetic nature as well as giving the person receiving that smile the power of feeling special. Anyone who meets Gatsby cannot help to see only the good in him. What Gatsby does not realize is that his present life can never be fulfilled if he continues to live in his past. Gatsby puts overwhelming pressure on himself to live a certain way as a means to capture his true love’s heart, but ruins any chance of having a future in the meanwhile.
A rags-to-riches story, Gatsby pulled himself out of the slums and now lives a life of luxury, throwing lavish parties in hopes to draw Daisy to one so that he can have a chance to win her love again. Anyone who is anyone knows of Gatsby’s lavish parties. He is notorious in New York as the man who has everything. Unfortunately, the means in which he was able to do it by was through bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities, according to Tom, when he tells Daisy, “I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong,” (Fitzgerald 282-290) as a desperate plea to convince her to stay with him. The truth is that Gatsby is a criminal. In fact, his real name is James Gatz. This criminal past trying to be erased by a new persona adds to the illusion that Gatsby lives a better life that he created for himself and also reinforces that it is one that can never lead to a lifetime of happiness. Gatsby’s “front” of being this person that he is not has backfired. Even when Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy “never loved” him and only married Tom because he was “poor and tired of waiting” for him (Fitzgerald, 146) in front of Daisy, Daisy isn’t too quick to agree. Gatsby’s delusion that Daisy never loved anyone else but him goes to show that Gatsby could never live in reality. Gatsby’s misconception of ...
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Nick Carraway is the narrator of the novel. He shifts to West Egg district of Long Island in New York. This area is mainly comprised of newly rich people. Nick discusses about his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom. Tom has an adulterous affair with Myrtle, wife of George.
The novel puts truth in the saying, “money can’t buy you happiness,” showing that excessive wealth is more prone to purchase misery, as it evidently did for the central character, Jay Gatsby, who believed that his newfound fortune was the ticket to making his dreams come true.
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Therefore, the quote, “Ambition is a drug that makes its addict’s potential madmen,” is very applicable to Gatsby and Myrtle in the novel, “The Great Gatsby.” The character traits of Gatsby and Myrtle justify this
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