Isn’t it a lovely sentence? It’s an excellent conclusion to a fantastic book, but it might not be an encouraging one. Let’s look at the literal meaning of the phrase and see if we can discover any themes in there.
To “beat” implies attempting to make forward progress against the wind, in a sail-powered boat, or against the current. This cannot be done by sailing directly towards the wind’s source; instead, it requires zigzagging back and forth. It is time-consuming, difficult, and dangerous.
With an opposing current behind the boat to go with the anticipated headwind, the apparent capacity of the boat to move despite this difficulty is amplified.
Finally, this ship appears to be unable to overcome the wind and current’s combined power, and it appears that it is moving backward or in the wrong direction. This appears to be its literal meaning to me.
While Jay Gatsby spent a considerable amount of effort, blood, sweat, and tears to build himself up into something greater or more developed than he was before, Daisy has not moved on.
This is due in no small part to her continued feelings for him—feelings that have allowed Mr. Gold’s narrative to continue despite the fact that it does not appear to be adding anything useful.
The problem, as Gatsby comprehended it (and Daisy too), was that he didn’t have enough money or prospects to court or marry a high-class lady like Daisy. As a result, Daisy married Tom (an upper-class guy), and Jay (“Jimmy” at the time) went off to fight.
After World War I, when Jimmy Gatz, through hard effort, luck, and some questionable tactics, amasses enormous wealth after the war, he recreates himself as Jay Gatsby and begins working on redoing Daisy’s love story.
He believes he can restart the romance with Daisy where he left off when he went to battle because now that he has fixed the previous lack of money that drove the narrative astray the first time.
Daisy appears to accept Gatsby’s plan at first because she is unhappy in her marriage to Tom, a rich but contemptible man. Daisy’s entry into a vehicle accident that kills an average working woman puts her at serious risk, forcing her to choose money and class over love from Gatsby. Gatsby is murdered at his mansion by the husband of the deceased woman.
It’s also apparent that Gatsby never truly belonged to the top class when his father, narrator, Owl Eyes, and a few hired people are the only ones at his burial. He will always be Jimmy Gatz, the son of a North Dakota farmer.
It, therefore, appears that Fitzgerald is implying that the notion that anybody may be anything he or she wants, as long as they have charisma and ambition, is a lie. We cannot alter our birth or upbringings, which are the real determining elements in our existence.
“So we frustratedly fought against the current, borne back into the distant past.” The phrase at the novel’s conclusion restating its main idea is one of Gatsby’s most famous lines. It captures Jay Gatsby’s inability to let go of his history. His attempts to restore it are pointless.
The Great Gatsby is one of the most renowned novels of the Roaring Twenties. During that period, there was a widespread disregard for tradition and history. Americans in the roaring twenties were intoxicated by money and pleasure. The narrative exposes Jay Gatson’s flaws. Fitzgerald examines how Jay Gatson’s past has a grip on him throughout the novel.
Gatsby is a wealthy, well-known, and fortunate person by today’s standards. Daisy was his first love, but she is now married to another guy. His desire for money and celebrity is driven by his dream of being accepted by Daisy.
She was his first kiss, but she has married someone else. The green light on Daisy’s dock across the bay represents Gatsby’s hope while also drawing attention to the gap between Gatsby and fulfillment. Because time has worn them apart over time, his efforts to rekindle their old relationship are doomed to fail.
The significance of a quotation becomes extremely convoluted in this historical and personal scenario. Gatsby maintains his own objective as a man of the Roaring Twenties. Despite harsh reality, he never gives up hope.
He battles against the current, but his efforts are doomed to failure, according to contemporary thinking. Fitzgerald illustrates that no matter how hard we try, history will always stay in the past. The present is implacably destined to become a memory for future generations regardless of how hard we struggle.