Gatsby The Narcissist Essay

1062 words - 4 pages

Gatsby throws parties. He hosts flamboyant galas with classy music and entertains thousands. He seems to enjoy the festivities, because his guests always return and he always welcomes his guests. On the surface he seems to be an outgoing fellow, appreciative of all the people in his life. But under this facade there is a more sinister aspect to Gatsby. Jay Gatsby is manipulating his milieu for the satisfaction of himself and does not care about others---in other words a narcissist. Jay Gatsby is a narcissist because of his relationship with Daisy, his manipulation of his milieu at his parties, his manner of speaking, and the little respect other people have for him.
The first time that Daisy and Gatsby are alone his narcissistic tendencies display themselves. Gatsby notes that Daisy’s attractiveness increased because of the many men that had already loved Daisy. He also mentions that he was amazed by Daisy’s breath-taking house. But, crucially, Gatsby does not think of Daisy in terms of psychological compatibility. He never remarks that her flirtatious statements were funny nor that they even shared any specific interest. To Gatsby it was material goods that made a woman worthy of his affection, rather than any other aspect of her being. He was a poor man and Daisy was a rich lady. By doing so he demonstrates his incessant narcissism because he cares to increase his personal affluence by leeching from his romantic interests and gain social class by having a relationship with a girl of gold.
When Gatsby knows Daisy’s whereabouts but before they meet, Gatsby has achieved a higher social class with a checkbook that reflects this fact. His lavish parties are over the top, yet Gatsby is always detached from the scene. Nick notes, “The nature of Mr. Tostoff’s composition eluded me, because just as it began my eyes fell on Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes.” Gatsby is searching from someone, and this suggests that he is searching for Daisy. Because Gatsby is standing alone, searching for the elusive Daisy, he is shown to not be content. He finds no joy in having all these people here if he cannot find his Daisy. He views Daisy as the person that will bring him to an even higher social class, because even though he is rich, he still remembers the social value Daisy encompasses because of her abundance of lovers. Ultimately he wants to swell his ego, to tame the wild beast, because Daisy wasn’t settled down before with any one man. Even though she is now married, he still views her with the same awe of when he first laid eyes on her at camp, even remarking that “‘Her voice is full of money’”(127) in reference to his percieved value of her when they first met. Quintessentially, Gatsby has narcissism flowing through his veins because he is attempting to recreate a past to soothe his remorse from when he initially left Daisy to fight in the war.
The way he treats his milieu...

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