There is much controversy on why F. Scott Fitzgerald chose his masterpiece to be title The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald chose The Great Gatsby as the title to show the duality of how the central character of Jay Gatsby is great in trying determinedly to achieve his goal of Daisy, but how his ‘greatness’; brings about his own downfall.
Gatsby is, at first glance, truly great, for he pursues his dream of Daisy relentlessly. Jordan Baker, in a conversation with Nick Carraway, lets him know that Gatsby wanted to let Daisy know how rich and powerful was; how ‘he [wanted] her to see his house,’; which is extravagant. Gatsby wants to impress Daisy with his newfound wealth in order to bring her back to him. Gatsby is also highly optimistic about achieving his goal, and thinks that he ‘is going to fix everything just the way it was before.’; Gatsby does not want to lose sight of his dream through petty pessimism. Gatsby also has unending loyalty to his goal of pursuing Daisy. When Daisy strikes and hits Myrtle with Gatsby’s car, Gatsby takes the blame for it. He believes that lying for her will help him in his quest to get Daisy to love him. Gatsby is great in his unyielding pursuit for Daisy.
Ultimately, however, Gatsby can only be considered great in a sarcastic tone, for the way in which he pursues his noble goal brings results in some one getting hurt. His great optimism that everything will be just the way it was delays and intensifies the effects of the inevitable fact that his encounter with Daisy was nothing but a ‘presumptuous little flirtation’; to Tom, which Daisy tacitly agrees with. Gatsby also has acquired his great wealth from bootlegging the sale of illegal liquor. Liquor ends up most of the time in helping people such as the ones at the one of the many huge parties get hurt, such as the time in which Tom breaks Myrtle’s nose.
By helping the distribution of liquor, Gatsby is hurting people, though he cannot see it. Lastly, Gatsby’s unending loyalty in taking the blame for Daisy when she kills Myrtle ends up getting Gatsby himself hurt. When Wilson finds out the so-called truth of the car accident, he quickly speeds over to Gatsby’s house and kills the man. Gatsby’s noble quest results in many people becoming hurt.
By choosing the title of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald chose to highlight Gatsby’s ‘greatness,’; which underneath the surface, is not truly great at all.