The Great Gatsby

Through Henry Gatz and Nick, Fitzgerald juxtaposes two views of the kind person Gatsby was. What are they?

Chapter 9

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Nick worships Gatsby's courage and capacity for self-reinvention, he cannot approve of either his dishonesty or his criminal dealings. Gatsby, both while he is alive and after his death, poses an insoluble challenge to Nick's customary ways of thinking about the world. Nick firmly believes that the past determines who we are: he suggests that he, and all the novel's characters, are fundamentally Westerners, and thus intrinsically unsuited to life in the East. The West, though it was once emblematic of the American desire for progress, is presented in the novel's final pages as the seat of traditional morality, an idyllic heartland, in stark contrast to the greed and depravity of the East.

Henry C. Gatz, a solemn old man, was left helpless and distraught by the death of his son. His vision of Gatsby was depicted in the book he'd kept, in which the young Gatsby kept a self-improvement schedule; nearly every minute of his day was meticulously planned. He saw his son as intelligent and believed that Jay had his whole world laid out before him.