Smithley Vil Mr. Haughey World Literature 10 October 2012 Gatsby Analysis Isolation is a significant and recurring theme throughout the novel “The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, that has had a great impact on its characters. A few in particular are Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, and “Jay Gatsby”. Nick who appears to be everyone’s closest friend and confidante when he is really the most alienated character in the novel. Daisy Buchanan who feels alone and ignored, even while married, with her child, and all the luxuries of West Egg life.
And the latter, for which the novel is named, a self-made man with everything anyone could ask for, who throws parties with hundreds of surrounding him still feels alone and that feeling becomes real until his very end. This theme was evident early on in the novel; Nick concludes both chapters one and two with descriptive scenes of him ending up alone and how that it came to be. By the third chapter Nick becomes more social in the novel, but somehow he still finds himself alone in a crowd of people. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names. (p. 40)” Nick talks about a typical party as crowded and lively but at the same time lonely, whereas in a small get together there is no privacy at all. In his description of the party Nick mentions “introductions forgotten on the spot,” and “who never knew each other’s names. This only creates the feeling of being alone and begets a cycle where one always ends up alone. A cycle that slowly progresses through the story until one is the same way that they began, alone. Isolation’s impact in the novel is only more supported by the effects that it has had on the characters. The most significant of those effects are of the physical and emotional kind. Physically, Nick is the most unaffected; there is no shred of evidence that isolation has affected him in anyway whatsoever. However this may be due to the fact that he observes-quite often, rather than acting, then acts.
I believe that unlike the other affected characters he is aware that he is isolated and processes its effect on others more so to improve himself, this coupled with the fact that he has some common sense has kept him unaffected throughout the novel. Daisy on the other hand is another story, although she has not changed much in appearance her actions, as they progressed had become increasingly erratic, wild, and unconscious. “As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulled his face down, kissing him on the mouth. You know I love you,” she murmured…”What a low, vulgar girl! “I don’t care! ” cried Daisy, and began to clog on the brick fireplace. Then she remembered the heat and sat down guiltily on the couch just as a freshly laundered nurse leading a little girl came into the room (pg. 116). ” The lonely emptiness that she felt in her heart, while surrounded by friends and “loved ones” drove her mind into a state of turmoil which was obvious through her wild even manic behavior. Gatsby’s actions would also be effected by his own isolation.
He was a man well known for his class and composure, but by simply having Daisy juxtaposition to him he would lose himself, completely immersed in an ambedo and the realization that after all that time he wasn’t alone anymore. “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.
Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs (pg. 91). ” In only a few minutes this man of once a regal stature had been reduced to shadow of his former self. He became dazed, clumsy, and quixotic as result of being so accustomed to being alone but while surrounded by many, but here he is all alone with Daisy and he hasn’t a clue what to say or do, rarely even laying eyes on her. Lonesomeness’ impact on these characters has had varying emotional effects on the characters even though they all, more or less “are in the same boat. For example, although physically Nick and Gatsby are in very similar situations, continually surrounded by people they care nothing for and by the end of the day each of these men finds himself alone, it has created very different but profound changes of the mental states of each of them. “A little before three the Lutheran minister arrived from Flushing, and I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars. So did Gatsby’s father…The minister glanced several times at his watch, so I took him aside and asked him to wait for half an hour. But it wasn’t any use. Nobody came (pg. 174). Gatsby being alone in death has a great effect on Nick, which is why Gatsby’s death bothers him so much; it serves as an example of his fears of eventual isolation. Nick’s only changes are that he seems to have come to terms with his own fears and insecurities although only more so after witnessing the effects of Gatsby’s. “I’ve got something to tell you, old sport ——” began Gatsby… You must be crazy! Exclaimed Tom automatically. Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. She never loved you, do you hear? ” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me.
It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me! ” The cool, calm, and regal persona that Gatsby had spent years to build up had vanished. Solitude drove him into a manic and obsessive state where he would do anything to ensure that he would never be alone again. Holding fast to this hope without any thought or remorse is what ultimately led to him ending up alone as he once began. In his obsession he took the blame for Myrtle Wilson’s death without thinking of the repercussions, and in his desperate haste died alone at the hands of another man, Mr.
Wilson, who also had an had an unholy fear of being alone which became a reality that he could no longer live in. “Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. All right, I said, I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool (pg. 17). Daisy, at this point was in the same situation as Nick and Gatsby, surrounded in room full of people she cared nothing for and at the end of that day she was all alone in the hospital with Tom nowhere to be found. She felt very isolated from Tom at this point in their marriage, and hopes that her daughter never has to feel the same way. Her marriage was and wasn’t out of convenience: Gatsby whom she had assumed to be dead had confessed his love for her moments before her marriage to Tom and it was too late go back and Tom could provide lifestyle that she had always wanted so she went along with it.
Daisy’s outbreaks are the result of inner conflict, thoughts of Tom and Gatsby race through her mind leaving room for not much else. It made her absent minded, careless, confused and unpredictable. “‘One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer, the rich get richer and the poor get – children (pg. 95). ” She and Tom’s child would only add on to the conflict within her, since the main reason she stayed with him was for the lifestyle that Gatsby couldn’t give the child was only a sign that it was coming to an end. That’s when Gatsby reappeared with more than enough to offer, but there again was the problem, the child.
There was no telling how a divorce could affect her and as a mother she hesitates to risk it. Her love for her child and luxury would go on to throw her into complete turmoil. Lonesomeness’ impact on these characters has had varying emotional effects on the characters even though they all, more or less “are in the same boat. ” Isolation had driven all the events in the novel and the events prior. It was Gatsby’s very own fear of isolation that began it and it was his desperation to avoid it that ended with him, ironically alone as he once began.