The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby contains many themes. These themes are the thought of repeating the past, the image of God watching over us, and the advice that Nick receives at the beginning of the book.
The theme of repeating the past is enacted throughout the whole book. You see this in the first chapter when Gatsby is portrayed as looking at the green light across the lake. The reader later on finds out that Gatsby knew Daisy before he went off to the war. He then buys a house that is in proximity to Daisy’s, even though she is already married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby then decides to have many wild parties in hopes of attracting Daisy to his home, but that doesn’t work until he meets Nick. When Nick is invited to one of Gatsby’s many parties; he meets him for the first time. Gatsby then finds out, through Jordan Baker, that Nick is Daisy’s cousin. He then befriends Nick to get closer to Daisy. This is done when Gatsby asks Nick to invite Daisy for tea. The fact that Gatsby stops having the parties reinforces this theme because he finally has Daisy and his mission of attracting her is accomplished. At the end of the book, the final quote, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” greatly supports the theme because it symbolizes the difficulty that every human has in reclaiming their past.
Dr. T.J. Eckleburg symbolizes the theme of God watching over all humanity. Dr. Eckleburg resembles the eyes of God because he sees all of the immoral acts being done by the characters in the novel. He sees Myrtle Wilson having an affair with Tom. He sees what really happened and who really was at fault when the accident that killed Myrtle Wilson occurred. He knew that Daisy was driving the car, and that Gatsby had no knowledge of Myrtle, nor did she have any knowledge of Gatsby. After Myrtle’s death, George, her husband, looks into the horizons and says that God is watching over us. He also told Myrtle, before she died, that God knew what she was doing, and the she could full a human, but she could never fool God. He later supplemented that theory when he was fooled by Tom into thinking that Gatsby was the one who was having the affair and he was the one who killed Myrtle. Eckleburg is not mentioned a whole lot because people do not care for a billboard as sinners care for God, and this is shown throughout the story.
The advice that Nick receives from his father is, “Whenever you feel like criticizing someone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” This theme stands out the most because of the contradiction that is portrayed by each of the characters. Even though Nick might not show it, he is very judgmental of the other characters in the book. In the first chapter he shows a slight hatred of Gatsby by saying he had an unaffected scorn for him. He might not say it, but he really thinks Tom is a dumb guy. He shows this because he knows that Daisy is seeing Gatsby secretly, yet he figures that Tom is too dumb to figure it out. He deems Jordan as a liar and even goes as far as to tell her that she is a bad driver. Notice in the first chapter, he refers to his younger years as his “vulnerable” years. He is implying that when he was younger, he would follow any advice, and he certainly did follow his father’s advice. But, as all children do, he grew up and became an independent thinker. He even referred to all those he associated with as snobbish and careless. He told Gatsby that he was a higher form of life than Tom, Daisy, and all the other people he knew put together. At the end of the novel, he insults Tom for his assisted butchery of Gatsby, finally portraying his true feelings toward him. At the end of the novel, he is finally able to show his true feelings about everyone.
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