To What Extent Can Gatsby Be Considered a Tragic Hero?
1029 words 5 pagesTo what extent can Gatsby be considered a tragic hero?
Before we can judge if Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero, we should look at the exact deﬁnition of a tragic hero. According to the classic deﬁnition, a tragic hero is a «great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat»1, and Oedipus, from the Greek Legends, is deﬁned as the classic tragic hero.
So, is Gatsby then a classic tragic hero, by deﬁnition? ! Even if the book itself is called «Great Gatsby», is Jay really great? From the text, we know that he came from a poor family, and made his fame and money through illegal business, and created a fake world of his own surrounding his reality, because he never accepted reality as it was. He …show more content…
Also, another reason why Gatsby’s illusions lead to his downfall is because in his eyes, Daisy is too perfect for her reality. He idealises Daisy, and she would never be able to live up to his expectations and his vision of her. Anything intervening with his dreams lead to it falling apart, and so Gatsby’s personality does, too - because Gatsby is an illusion, and the real James Gatz doesn’t exist any more, he’s been taken over by that fantasy. In fact, the illusion he had created is similar to the «American Dream» which also never lived up the expectations. Gatsby is too idealistic, and it is obvious that he expects too much from the world around him, and from himself, which will eventually lead to his downfall, as his dream falls apart, along with him. ! His fantasy is interrupted greatly when he realises that Daisy has a daughter.
Because the child is a physical, real thing serves as a barrier that separates Gatsby and Daisy’s revived relationship, or rather his fantasy of a perfect relationship and reality. This illustrates how Gatsby’s fantasy is very vulnerable to interruption, and also foreshadows his downfall as soon as too much interruption happens - in this case, Daisy killing Myrtle. Because Gatsby idealises Daisy, he cannot accept that she has done something as horrible as a murder, and so takes the blame. And so, the chain of events leads to him being shot, and his