Did Gatsby Deserve His Death?

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 769 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 769|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Gatsby's Obsession with Daisy Buchanan
  2. Gatsby's Involvement in Illegal Activities
  3. The Consequences of Reckless Pursuit of Wealth
  4. Conclusion

Throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, the enigmatic character of Jay Gatsby captures readers with his lavish parties and mysterious past. However, Gatsby's pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to his tragic demise. This essay will explore the question of whether Gatsby deserved his death, examining various aspects of his character and actions. By analyzing Gatsby's obsession with Daisy Buchanan, his involvement in illegal activities, and the consequences of his reckless pursuit of wealth, it becomes evident that Gatsby's choices and actions justify his untimely death.

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Gatsby's Obsession with Daisy Buchanan

One of the key factors that contributed to Gatsby's downfall was his relentless obsession with Daisy Buchanan. From the moment he laid eyes on her, Gatsby fixated on the idea of winning her back, even though she was already married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby's unwavering devotion to Daisy blinded him to the reality of their relationship and the consequences of his actions.

Despite Daisy's marriage, Gatsby believed that he could recreate their past love and make Daisy leave her husband. This delusion led Gatsby to engage in illicit activities, such as bootlegging, to amass the wealth he believed would impress Daisy and win her back. Gatsby's single-minded pursuit of Daisy and his willingness to break the law to achieve his goal demonstrate his moral ambiguity and the lengths he was willing to go for his own desires.

Furthermore, Gatsby's obsession with Daisy caused him to overlook her flaws and idealize her to an unrealistic extent. He believed that Daisy was perfect, despite her shallow and selfish nature. Gatsby's inability to see Daisy for who she truly was ultimately led to his downfall, as he became a victim of his own illusions and fantasies.

Gatsby's Involvement in Illegal Activities

In addition to his obsession with Daisy, Gatsby's involvement in illegal activities further justifies his death. Gatsby's vast wealth and extravagant lifestyle were built on the profits he gained from bootlegging and other criminal endeavors. While Gatsby may have portrayed himself as a successful and respectable businessman, his wealth was tainted by illegal means.

By participating in illegal activities, Gatsby willingly put himself at risk of facing severe consequences. He was aware of the potential dangers associated with his actions, yet he chose to continue down this path in pursuit of wealth and the illusion of happiness. Gatsby's involvement in illegal activities not only highlighted his moral ambiguity but also set the stage for his tragic demise.

Furthermore, Gatsby's illegal activities attracted the attention of various unsavory characters, such as Meyer Wolfsheim. These connections further complicated Gatsby's life and put him in constant danger. Gatsby's association with criminals and his disregard for the law ultimately sealed his fate.

The Consequences of Reckless Pursuit of Wealth

Finally, Gatsby's reckless pursuit of wealth and material possessions played a significant role in his untimely death. Gatsby believed that accumulating wealth would bring him happiness and allow him to win Daisy's love. However, his relentless pursuit of wealth only led to his isolation and downfall.

Gatsby's extravagant parties and opulent lifestyle were merely a facade designed to impress Daisy and the upper class. However, these material possessions did not bring him genuine happiness or fulfillment. Gatsby's pursuit of wealth became an empty and lonely endeavor, as he sacrificed authentic relationships and true happiness in his single-minded pursuit of the American Dream.

Moreover, Gatsby's obsession with wealth and materialism blinded him to the value of genuine human connections. He surrounded himself with shallow individuals who were only interested in his wealth, further isolating himself from authentic relationships. Gatsby's inability to distinguish between true friendship and superficial acquaintanceship ultimately led to his tragic demise.


In conclusion, did Gatsby deserve his death? Examining Gatsby's obsession with Daisy, his involvement in illegal activities, and the consequences of his reckless pursuit of wealth reveals that Gatsby's choices and actions justify his tragic end. Gatsby's relentless pursuit of his own desires, regardless of the consequences, led to his isolation, moral ambiguity, and eventual downfall. While Gatsby's death is undoubtedly tragic, it serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of becoming consumed by materialism, obsession, and the pursuit of an unattainable dream.

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Ultimately, Gatsby's death was the culmination of his own choices and actions, highlighting the consequences of his misguided pursuit of happiness. As readers, we are left to reflect on the broader implications of Gatsby's story and consider the dangers of allowing our desires to blind us to the reality of the world around us. Gatsby's tragic fate serves as a reminder that the pursuit of the American Dream, while alluring, can lead to destruction if not tempered with morality, integrity, and an understanding of what truly matters in life.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Did Gatsby Deserve His Death? (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Did Gatsby Deserve His Death?” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Did Gatsby Deserve His Death? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Did Gatsby Deserve His Death? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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