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Gatsby, the Player

             -----Character Building of Great Gatsby.
             Gatsby's greatness lies not in his prospect of his future, but in his uncompromising insistence to "repeat the past"(116), when he irremediably fell in love with Daisy. The past life, to Gatsby, is the type that he can only conceive in romantic tales. The past happiness, however transient it was, is what Gatsby lives for. He wants desperately to retrieve the lost love and his most treasured values. Since no one can go back in time and relive the past, what Gatsby can only do is to make up a play, which involves practically all the dramatic elements: the fictitious characters, the dramatic plots which moves from beginning through climax to denouement, etc. But, unfortunately, no matter how Gatsby frets and struts on the stage, he is heard no more to the end of the play. His desolate funeral marks the fall of the curtain. Gatsby turns out to be "a poor son of bitch"(183).
             Gatsby's tragic play isn't a tale told by an idiot. Rather, it is told by such a confidence man who tends to reserve his judgement, while keeping an observant eye on what is going on around him. Although Nick, the narrator of the novel, is of less importance in Gatsby's play, he performs the function of the chorus, who gives us readers or the audiences of Gatsby's play the direction to the appreciation of the playing. Obviously, Gatsby has intended to stage on a comedy, in which he readily identifies himself to be the hero and Daisy, the heroine the romantic hero is after. However, the plot develops just the opposite helplessly. Unmistakably, when he sets to create the play, Gatsby must have in his mind the quest-myth that is believed to be central to human being's artistic creation in general, as is pointed out by Northropp Frye. According to Northropp Frye, the quest-myth "originates in his (the artist's) dream"(431, Northropp Frye), the dreamer of which "seeks to resolve the antithesis of the human cycle of day and night, and to realize a world in which the inner desire and the outward circumstance coincide"(431, Northropp Frye).

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