In the Novel The Great Gatsby, not many people really knew the man known as Jay Gatsby. When he was rich and powerful, he was the man you want to know. But when he was dead, life went on without him. It seemed as if nobody cared that he was the man behind the parties and all the good times. He was dead and nobody mourned. This shows that the opinion of the great Jay Gatsby changed by the end of the story. He was an icon of not only every man’s image of the American Dream, but he was also apart of Americanism and the American Experience. He was seen as the richest and luckiest man during his time.
Unlike any of the other characters in the novel, Jay Gatsby does not change during the course of the story. He as a person might not have changed, but the way that people perceived him certainly became different. When he was alive and well, he was the perfect idea of the American Dream. He had more money than he knew what to do with. He could afford to have oversized parties every weekend. Jay Gatsby was the person to know when it came to the Eggs.
In the beginning, he was only known as Jay Gatz. He was a poor boy in the army. He only had his charm to get him by. This is how he meets Daisy. She was a very rich girl, from a wealthy family. They were in love from the beginning. Unfortunately, Daisy believed that rich girls don’t marry poor boys. From that moment on, Jay Gatz wanted one thing; to get rich so he could show Daisy that a poor boy could get rich. This obsession ate up the real man inside. Jay Gatz became Jay Gatsby. This new man wanted to become the American Dream at an early age. He did what ever he could to get his money.
One of the more puzzling things about Jay Gatsby is where did he come from and where did he get his money? Nobody other than Daisy really knows where he came from. When people were talking at one of Gatsby’s first parties, nobody could really say where he was from. They all said different places. When it comes to Gatsby’s fortune; that is another enigma all together. When Nick asked about his fortune he first said, I inherited a good amount of money from my parents. Then when Gatsby mentioned, I was in the drug store business and the stock market, but I am in neither of these any more, Nick caught him in one of his lies. Gatsby has gotten good enough to get himself out of situations like this one. He merely told Nick that he worked after the great crash. This tells us that he tried a few ways to get rich, but he makes it sounds they never worked. It can only be speculated on as to what business he is into now or even how he came into his wealth, but we can be sure that he wanted to keep it to himself.
It was this defense mechanism that, in the end, destroyed him. Jay Gatsby had kept his business life such a secret that he couldn’t let anyone get close enough to him to learn what he was up to. It was quite obvious that he did not like this loneliness, but he knew it came with all the wealth that he had. He did not want to be alone any longer. He now felt it was time to confront Daisy with his feelings for her. He set up the tea party so they could meet. In a way, Gatsby uses Nick to get the chance to meet with Daisy. It seems that Nick does not really seem to mind all that much. Gatsby and Daisy continue to meet and they become closer and closer. Gatsby begins to feel like he can by back the past.
Then when Daisy can’t admit that she does not love Tom anymore, Gatsby’s false sense of security falls through. He now begins to see that we can by the future, but no amount of money can buy the past. It is this flaw that makes him a tragic character. It is the fact that he believed in Americanism a little too much, made it easy to destroy him in the end. People came to his house and conducted themselves like they were at an amusement park. But after Gatsby dies, nobody seems to care about him. We really see Gatsby’s true friends, even though Nick isn’t really considered to be Jay’s friend, but he is more of an observer of the Gatsby’s downfall.
The man behind Jay Gatsby was nothing more than a man who lived a shallow life, for a shallow purpose. It seemed that the people of the East and West Eggs never missed him. This man is a true representation of the American Experience. He flaunted what he had all the way until the end and he is never missed by anyone. He never really used his fortune for anything really productive. In many ways he is a lot like Donald Trump. Donald Trump had a lot of money and power, but he never really did anything productive with it other than feeding his greed. That is the kind of man that Gatsby was. He is selfish and only wanted one thing from life and that was to live happily ever after with Daisy. After everything was said and done, Daisy never showed up to his funeral. This makes Gatsby’s whole existence seem worthless. When Donald Trump is long gone, it seems that life will go on as usually. Like Gatsby, they will only call it an end of an era.