Nick Carraway initially arrived at the West Egg to find himself mesmerized by what seems to be the fabulous lifestyle that Mr. Jay Gatsby lives. Gatsby lives in a gigantic house, throws elaborate parties, drives expensive cars, and seems to be well connected with society. Nick, being a struggling bonds man has a lot to envy. However, after getting to know Gatsby, it is doubtful that Nick would ever envy Gatsby’s lifestyle.
Gatsby may look like he lives a fabulous life, but really he has conceptual problems. He waits for a lady that he met decades ago to come running back into his life. By doing everything in his power to change who he is and impress her, Gatsby only makes the situation worse. His desperation causes him to be short sited. Gatsby fails to look at the situation as a whole. When Gatsby is finally with Daisy, he keeps wanting more. He doesn’t accept that Daisy has her own life. Telling your husband that you never really loved him, and leaving him may sound easier said than done. Gatsby wanting Daisy to do this is unrealistic. Gatsby is setting himself up for failure by setting such high expectations that are unreasonable.
Gatsby’s morals are flushed down the drain. His desperation to impress Daisy has caused him to become “friends” with the wrong group of people, and participate in illegal business.
His life turns into one big lie. Unable to admit his background causes Gatsby to try unreasonably hard to change who he was. As said, a leopard can’t change his spots. As hard as Gatsby tried, he can never be considered old money, and he will never have the social standing as someone who is considered to be old money. Also, people who are considered to be “old money” generally live in a very tight social network. Therefore, for Gatsby to make up stories about his past, saying that he is old money is unrealistic. Had Gatsby had the ability to be happy with whom he was, then he might have been able to prevent many mishaps that were in his lifetime.
Nick and Gatsby are complete opposites. Nick is down to earth, modest, poor, and graduate of Yale University. Gatsby on the other hand is eccentric, flashy, wealthy, and drop out of St. Olaf’s College. But, the biggest difference between the two men is that Nick isn’t afraid of who he is, or his background. He doesn’t hide the fact that he lives on Gatsby’s property or that he can’t afford the lavished lifestyle that Gatsby or the Buchanan’s live. Because Nick is grounded he was able to stay true to himself, he never becomes involved in any shenanigans. When Gatsby offers Nick a side job Nick realizes that he should not get involved in unlawful business.
Nick, who’s a grounded gentleman, learns that Gatsby’s life is anything but admirable, but more sympathetic. In the end, Nick learns a vital lesson, that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
“There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men are girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motorboats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station-wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.
Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York – every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract juice of two hundred times by a butler’s thumb.
At lease once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feel of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkey bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.
By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums…” pg. 26
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