Is Gatsby Really Great?

So,I sit at my desk and think….  I ponder the idea of Gatsby. (Do I really? You might never know).

We have talked about Gatsby the magician… but, we haven’t contemplated the word “GREAT” in front of his name. Why do magicians use the word great? Why not powerful? Fabulous? Magnificent? There are so many adjectives that could be put in front of a magician’s name– but, Fitzgerald tells us that Gatsby is great.

What is so great about Gatsby? Is he great? Or is it all just an illusion? Part of his act?

By Thursday, watch this video and make an argument for or against Gatsby being great. I leave the decisions up to you. What is the American Dream? Is it utopian? or distopian?  100% of Americans dream  the dream… but, how many actually achieve it? The chart below was printed in the Business Insider last year.

So, now, take this information and answer the question from the end of the video— is Gatsby Great? I will give 3000 family points to those who answer it. Post all your answers below.


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  1. taylornicholas13

    Gatsby Wasn’t Great.
    Gatsby wasn’t great, because of his inability to move on from the past and his unobtainable dream of being with Daisy. Every dream he had while living a life of poverty he obtained, except for Daisy. The pedestal Gatsby puts her on is shattered time and time again, but his obliviousness blinds him from her true nature. Before Gatsby had money, Daisy seemed to be the perfect fit for him, because she had an essence of luxury. So, when Gatsby finally made a name for himself he longed to be with someone who shared that same essence. Gatsby’s constant belief that he could relive the past, ultimately strips him of the dream that took him so long to obtain. His past ultimately blinds him from his future, and the love he had for Daisy blinded him from seeing the careless person she really was. Gatsby wasn’t great, because he couldn’t except his future and the reality that time continues even if you try to stop it.

  2. ashleyfabella

    Gatsby wasn’t Great. He tried to relive his past with Daisy, even though she was a married woman. He wanted Daisy to leave Tom and say she did not love him. He was acting selfish and wanted his own world back as it was five years ago. He wants to start over with Daisy and have a future with her. He does not see that she loves Tom and mistakes her surprise to see him as if she loved him still. He has drilled it into his head that Daisy would automatically leave her life and child with Tom to come and be with him. HIs dream, that he still has from five years ago, has been destroyed, but he hopes to rebuild it again with Daisy in his life. Gatsby tries so hard to reach his dream, but ends up losing it again because he pursues a dream that is unreachable for him and his needs.

  3. Amelia Navarro

    Gatsby is great in his mortal achievements. He has built himself from the ground up which is very much praised as it shows work ethic and control in his own destiny. Although, Gatsby allows his idols to consume him as he worships and praises Daisy. He positions her as the essence of wealth and views her as his reason to live. He is completely devoted to her and his greatness can also be seen with his great love for Daisy. Like John Green said, the old money are careless Gatsby truly learned to love and knew what he wanted, he worked for his goals making him the opposite of careless. Instead, he is strategic and hopes to cross his finish line and possess his trophy of Daisy. Daisy and Tom do not have any goals in their life which is what distinguishes them from Gatsby. Therefore, Gatsby is great in his love for Daisy and as he valiantly labored for his wealth he assumes to attain Daisy the same way.

  4. sarahjwilcox

    Gatsby became Great. The moment he started envisioning the future for himself and adopted a name that would later on suit his needs and his ambitions in life. He is a man who rises above his past and leaves it behind to recreate himself. He even talks about how he is going to change the past. Though Gatsby is a self-centered egotistical man he still has values that are above his self-centered needs. Even though some would argue that Gatsby’s goals were sort of covered by his love for Daisy, but I believe that she gave him a different goal in life that he will do anything in his will for, even if that means breaking Tom and Daisy apart. He loves Daisy, even though its the point of love that some would see as sort of ominous because he pretty much worships and fawns over her. He values her like he values his money which gives him a sense of greatness in his life.

  5. adriennedwyer

    Gatsby was great.
    Great: of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average. Gatsby, himself, was indeed of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average. The American Dream can be defined as the obtainment of wealth and prestige, a name for oneself, in a sense. It is mostly every American’s dream to achieve a version of the American Dream, and those who have are often idolized for it. In every sense Gatsby was a great man, achieving the American Dream, Coming from dirt-poor origins, Gatsby fantasized establishing a name for himself, achieving wealth and prestige. He envisioned himself from the ground up, and eventually devoted his life to building a fortune. In only five years, Gatsby achieved unimaginable wealth and established his name in every New York household. I believe that this intense determination and devotion to achieving this American Dream rightfully earns Gatsby his title, “Great”.

  6. kl1214

    Gatsby is not Great.

    Though Gatsby has made a name for himself, his reason in doing so is not something one can just simply brush off. He did what he had to do to become wealthy, all to gain the love and affection of Daisy Buchanan. I believe that Daisy does not truly love Gatsby, but loves his wealth and riches, meaning that Gatsby has not entirely gained his goal. That, and the fact that she is already married and she has a daughter. What Gatsby is doing is wrong. Trying to recreate the past, forcing the recreation even, is wrong. You cannot turn back time. His American Dream, to win the girl, to make Daisy forget about her previous life before she meets Gatsby, is a distopia.

  7. hallegj

    Gatsby was great
    He set out what he wanted to do and he did not steer away from that. He never quit and he kept working for what he wanted. His total dream was a life with Daisy and all he wanted was to protect her. All the money he had gotten he spent on her. He did not partake in his own wealth but gave it solely to her. and then when Daisy hit Myrtle and she died, Gatsby was willing to take the blame all for Daisy. Although Gatsby did make some major mistakes in trying to relive the past, ultimately he was still great

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