The Great Gatsby - Essay
Topic: Time as a key dimension to one's life's theme.
Time is an idea described in different periods and aspects, for example philosophical,
psychological, physical and biological. This time flows evenly but is broken into the past, present
and future. Since we only live in the present forever planning for our futures and dreams, when
we try to live in the past it restricts our future. Throughout Fitzgerald's novel, Gatsby wasted time
and his life for a single dream, and it was his illusion of his ideal future that made time a key
dimension in his life.
Gatsby suffers from past memories of Daisy and tries to relive the relationship and in the
process Gatsby was murdered. Nick says, "Almost five years! There must have been moments
even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams - not through her own fault, but
because of the colossal vitality of his illusion". Gatsby's idealistic view of Daisy was, she was of
pure and perfect form and after he kisses her, his ideal perfect relationship starts to decay, "...and
the incarnation was complete". The incarnation meaning Daisy cannot be ideally perfect anymore
now that Gatsby's with her. Daisy is not pure and perfect like Gatsby thought she was in the past.
From Gatsby's illusions of the past preoccupying all his thoughts, he forgets about the key
dimension he exists in which is the present.
Although Gatsby was persistent on reliving the past, Gatsby vaguely lived for the present.
This is apparent when he cancels his biology by leaving home, changing his name, and leaving his
heritage behind which was not done by following the past. In the past Jay Gatsby made, "...a
platonic conception of himself". What Nick said about Gatsby's platonic theory of himself was
that Gatsby "...was a son of God". From Jay Gatsby's theory he makes a ideal conception of
himself, of which he projects himself into the future. Ultimately Gatsby is left with the choices to
"...suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder," or kiss Daisy and "...his
mind would never romp again like the mind of God". In Gatsby's choices he is to climb "the
ladder" to God which represents Gatsby's future or choose Daisy and choose the past. Since Gatsby
idealized the past could be his future, from Gatsby's kissing Daisy, he is leaving his past ideal
platonic conception of himself by choosing no longer to have his mind think like the "mind of
God". In conclusion Jay Gatsby's starts to make his future from his present even though he was
stuck in the past.
Gatsby's future was said by his father, to be one of promise. Gatsby's father states "He had
a big future before him...", and Gatsby had the brain power to be successful. In Gatsby's schedule
it shows he kept an eye on his goals, was eager to get ahead and in fact had a plan to achieve his
goals. But the one goal he didn't achieve showed Gatsby he had "paid a high price for living too
long with a single dream". Gatsby's dream to make what has already past, his future, and his
dream was just out of reach. As a result of living in the past, Gatsby limited his future and was
doomed by a single kiss which was his only tragic flaw, "...and the holocaust was complete".
Time is a key dimension in one's life theme and it played a key role in Jay Gatsby's life.
For Gatsby was living in the past and when he came to the present he was no longer there. The
American dream has a tendency to exaggerate the past and project into the future. Preoccupying
Gatsby with what the past represented, He wasn't able to grasp reality in his over powering ideals.
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