Was Gatsby “great”? Yes, he was! Anyway he was an extraordinary personality even if it was a wrong way to became rich being engaged in the criminal activities. It takes a lot of efforts either you’re making big money in a honest way or by criminal business.
Gatsby was an enigma for everyone, no one knew any trustful information about him, just gossips. And I suppose you agree that you need to be something special to get so much interest from the people. Especially from the rich ones.
And one more important reason for me to call Gatsby “great”: he had a dream. And he was so dedicated to make it true, he raised himself from an ordinary Western guy to one of the most famous and rich persons of New York city.
And what was the motive for this? Love! His love and desire to make his woman happy and in order to be on the same level with her he decided to become rich. He was fascinated by luxury and the lifestyle of the rich and Gatsby was truly dedicated to make his dream come true.
I, frankly speaking, admire him for this kind of dedication and character.
But, unfortuntely for Gatsby, his dream, Daisy, was not the same girl he felt in love a long time ago. She was the same nice, beautiful and lovely girl just in his dreams.
In real life Daisy didn’t dare to leave her husband for Gatsby.
That was such a rare kind of love from Gatsby side that hard to find in real life. Despite that she stayed with her husband, Gatsby still loved her and out of his pure and true love he sacrifies himself in this case with the car accident at the end of the novel.
Despite of the fact he made his fortune by bootlegging and supposed to be a dishonest criminal this last scene showed us that Jay Gatsby was way more honest and had a true personality than Tom who lied to the Myrtle’s husband in order to take revenge and remove Gatsby from his life.
And when Jay found out that his dream no longer exists, he was so frustrated, but still waiting for her, trying to reanimate his dream, trying to save it at least in his thoughts – and here is a symbolic scene with Gatsby using his pool (though he has never used it before) and no matter that the weather was cool, it was a symbol of him trying to extend their “summer” with Daisy in his mind.
For me Jay Gatsby was the only real person in the novel, he was honest with himself, his fortune didn’t spoil him, he had just chosen a wrong dream and at the end wasn’t able to get over his failure.