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Is Gatsby Great Essay

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Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby," has sparked debates and discussions about the character of Jay Gatsby and whether he truly deserves the title of "great." This essay aims to present a persuasive argument that Gatsby is indeed a great character, highlighting his ambition, resilience, and unwavering pursuit of the American Dream.

Extraordinary Ambition

One of the defining characteristics of greatness is extraordinary ambition. Gatsby embodies this quality through his relentless pursuit of wealth and social status. From his humble beginnings, Gatsby aspires to create a life of opulence and prosperity, driven by his desire to win back the heart of his beloved Daisy. His unwavering determination to transcend his circumstances and achieve the American Dream showcases his greatness of spirit.

Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Gatsby's journey is marked by numerous setbacks and obstacles, yet he never loses hope. Despite coming from a disadvantaged background, he reinvents himself, amassing wealth and creating an extravagant persona. His resilience in the face of adversity demonstrates his strength of character and determination to overcome any obstacle that stands in his path. Gatsby's ability to bounce back from failures and setbacks is a testament to his greatness.

Unwavering Pursuit of the American Dream

Gatsby's relentless pursuit of the American Dream sets him apart as a great character. He embodies the ideal of the self-made man, someone who believes that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Gatsby's aspiration to rise above his circumstances and create a life of abundance reflects the quintessential American spirit. Despite the moral ambiguity surrounding some of his actions, his unwavering pursuit of his dreams highlights his greatness of purpose.

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Symbolism of Gatsby's Character

Beyond Gatsby's personal qualities, his character also serves as a symbol of the human capacity for hope, idealism, and the pursuit of dreams. He represents the possibilities and aspirations that lie within each individual, urging us to believe in our own potential for greatness. Gatsby's character resonates with readers because he embodies the universal longing for a better future, making him a timeless and iconic figure.

Impact on Others

Gatsby's greatness extends beyond his personal ambitions. He has a profound impact on those around him, inspiring admiration, fascination, and even jealousy. Despite the flaws in his pursuit of Daisy, Gatsby's love for her is genuine and selfless. He is willing to sacrifice everything for her happiness, displaying an extraordinary capacity for love and devotion. Gatsby's ability to evoke such strong emotions in others reflects the power and influence he holds, further solidifying his status as a great character.


In conclusion, Jay Gatsby can be rightfully deemed a great character in literature. His extraordinary ambition, resilience, unwavering pursuit of the American Dream, symbolism, and impact on others all contribute to his greatness. Gatsby's determination to transcend his circumstances, his resilience in the face of adversity, and his ability to inspire those around him make him a character worthy of admiration.

While Gatsby may have his flaws and his actions may be morally ambiguous, his inherent greatness lies in his ability to dream, to believe in the possibility of a better future, and to strive relentlessly towards his goals. Through his character, readers are reminded of the power of hope, resilience, and the human capacity for greatness.

"The Great Gatsby" stands as a testament to the enduring allure of the American Dream and the complexities of human ambition. Gatsby's story serves as a reminder that greatness can be found not only in achieving one's dreams but also in the unwavering pursuit of them. Jay Gatsby, with his larger-than-life aspirations and indomitable spirit, leaves an indelible mark on literature and continues to captivate readers with his greatness.

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Is Gatsby Great Essay. (2023, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Is Gatsby Great Essay.” Edubirdie, 22 Sept. 2023,
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