Great Gatsby And Morality
After the events of this story have unfolded, the narrator Nick, focuses on the
man most like himself; Gatsby. Both Nick Carraway and Jay Gatz hail from the
mid-west, where morals and the right way of getting ahead are instilled into
them. They travel to New York, where the morals are paper-thin and everything
seems turned upside down. The saps with morals stay in the ashheaps while the
careless, foolhardy upper society do what they please. Nick stays true to the
mid-west morals of an earnest, hardworking living while Gatsby tries to be just
like the others on East Egg. Nick says this of him, "Gatsby believed in the
green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded
us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our
arms further.....And one fine morning-" (189). A central theme of the novel I
think, is the idea that people aren’t satisfied with what they have, they are
always going further and further, never knowing when to stop, and always
striving for that bright star that "seemed so close that he could hardly fail
to grasp it." (189). To Gatsby the green light symbolizes Daisy, Daisy in a
way represents her peers in the same social strata as her. Daisy is a fool,
living vicariously and so are the characters in this book. The green light
represents the wild and recklessness of the times. These were times when women
for the first time were drinking and smoking alongside the guys, their war was
over and so were their troubles. The green light for them means go, after most
wars the economy experiences a boom, this was no different. They are cocksure,
thinking that whatever they do is right, and they always push on. They don’t
care what happens to others as long as they remain untouched and unrivaled. This
selfishness is shown in nearly all characters except Nick, who accepts his life
and is satisfied. He works hard and scrapes by, but he is living the life he
wants, "I am one of the few honest men that I have ever known."(64). He’s
sensible and thinks out his actions. He doesn’t have the green gleam in his
eye that everyone else seems to have. He is an observer to the situation, and
when he talks of Gatsby believing in the Green Light, he sums up Gatsby’s
philosophy and possibly what was written in the back of his most recent edition
of "Hopalong Cassidy"; the way to live his life dedicated to Daisy. His
whole life was devoted to re-wooing Daisy and finally have that "one fine
morning" when she would be his completely. I do not think that he knew when to
stop. Once Gatsby achieves his dreams and Daisy is now seeing him on a regular
basis, he doesn’t know what to do. This whole time he wanted her so much and
he couldn’t get her, he was dreaming. Dreaming that the green light would
shine on him, and once it did, he couldn’t help but go further, stretch his
arms just a little further, and ask Daisy to leave her husband. On page 139 in
the hotel scene Daisy says to Jay, "Oh, you want to much! I love you
know---isn’t that enough?" But for Gatsby it isn’t enough, he wants more
and more and really it is this dream of "one fine morning" that is the
reason he is killed. He lives his life as a dream. He accomplishes the

"American Dream" by coming from nothing and getting everything but all his
profit go to Daisy, she is his dream all along, and it is from this situation
that in the end he is killed, caught in the tangled web of the Buchanans
marriage. Tom is a good example of not knowing when to stop. He was born into
wealth and went to a prominent college. His life is set up, he has wealth, a
beautiful wife, a child, a lavish lifestyle, and no worries. His decision to
have extra-marital affairs is a key example of "stretching his arms", and
indulging himself to the point of fallout. This is common among his peers, the
rich New York crowd. Gatsby follows Daisy from the time he arrives back until
the day he actually has his dreams come true and he meets her. She is symbolized
by the green light at the end of her dock. To me, this green light is
representative of not only Daisy, but of all the