The Great Gatsby Living In The Past Essay

The Great Gatsby: “The Past Is Forever In The Present”

Time remains a universal continuation of the past into the present and bears a strong hold on the future. The destruction of satisfaction in history withholds the contentment of the future with an impeding sense of unalterable guilt. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates “the past is forever in the present” through numerous literary and narrative techniques, suggesting that memories serve as crucial components in the development of individuals.
Fitzgerald implements a first party narrative through Nick Caraway’s recollection of the events of the plot in order to effectively demonstrate the scarring, yet beneficial, effects of memories on the current mindset of individuals. The story is of Nick’s past, whose memories are forever impacted. The first sentence of the novel refers to Nick’s psychological description as, “… I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since” (1), revealing the impact of the knowledge ascertained from the past and the permanence of said knowledge in shaping the present. The first person chronicle provides insight into the mental effects of personal experiences on the current psychology of a person. By the end of the novel, this theme of the past bearing a stronghold in the present becomes obvious through Nick’s epiphany that, “the future is always receding in
front of us… we’re forever beaten back towards the past” (180). This revelation reveals the permanence and strength of the past, preventing individuals from completely leaving the past behind and pursuing the realistic future. Fitzgerald provides this insight through first person narration, in order to demonstrate the effect history has on the present character, which is effectively presented through Nick’s recollection of events in vivid detail suggesting the historical significance of the events on Nick’s maturity as a character, forever changing his conception of society’s corruption in the Roaring Twenties.
In opposition to Nick’s valuable revelation, the inability to remove oneself from the possibilities of the past may prevent the pleasure of the present. Fitzgerald reveals the detrimental impacts of living in the past, through the character James Gatz and his numerous flashbacks responsible for Gatz’s development into the character of Jay Gatsby. Gatz invented the character of Gatsby, providing a fallacious back-story, in order to convince himself and hopefully Daisy that there remains a possibility of love despite their difference in economic backgrounds. Nick reveals, “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this (Platonic) conception he was faithful to the end” (132). Gatsby changed his past, hoping to change the outcome of his future happiness. Fitzgerald reveals Gatsby’s construed misconception of himself through flashbacks in order to emphasize the effect the past has on the present.

Fitzgerald furthers this claim through flashbacks with Gatsby presenting...

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Essay about The Great Gatsby: The Past is Forever in the Present

1133 Words5 Pages

Time remains a universal continuation of the past into the present and bears a strong hold on the future. The destruction of satisfaction in history withholds the contentment of the future with an impeding sense of unalterable guilt. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates “the past is forever in the present” through numerous literary and narrative techniques, suggesting that memories serve as crucial components in the development of individuals. Fitzgerald implements a first party narrative through Nick Caraway’s recollection of the events of the plot in order to effectively demonstrate the scarring, yet beneficial, effects of memories on the current mindset of individuals. The story is of Nick’s past, whose memories are…show more content…

Time remains a universal continuation of the past into the present and bears a strong hold on the future. The destruction of satisfaction in history withholds the contentment of the future with an impeding sense of unalterable guilt. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates “the past is forever in the present” through numerous literary and narrative techniques, suggesting that memories serve as crucial components in the development of individuals. Fitzgerald implements a first party narrative through Nick Caraway’s recollection of the events of the plot in order to effectively demonstrate the scarring, yet beneficial, effects of memories on the current mindset of individuals. The story is of Nick’s past, whose memories are forever impacted. The first sentence of the novel refers to Nick’s psychological description as, “… I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since” (1), revealing the impact of the knowledge ascertained from the past and the permanence of said knowledge in shaping the present. The first person chronicle provides insight into the mental effects of personal experiences on the current psychology of a person. By the end of the novel, this theme of the past bearing a stronghold in the present becomes obvious through Nick’s epiphany that, “the future is always receding in front of us… we’re forever beaten back towards the past” (180). This revelation reveals the permanence and strength of the past, preventing individuals from completely

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