Jay Gatsby: The Mystery Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Jay Gatsby, aka James Gatz is the subject of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Through the course of the novel, this enigmatic and powerful character, defined by his preceding reputation is gradually deconstructed and revealed to be a lovesick man, a hopeless romantic. Understanding this statement affirms the actions taken by Gatsby in the course of the story. Unfortunately his actions also lead to the demise of dream and one himself. In the larger spectrum Gatsby is seen as the archetypical self-made man under the microscope, scrutinized by a prod to unveil what’s beneath the layers of gold and green.
Gatsby is largely a mystery at the story’s beginning, defined by his wealth and influence as well as the rumors that flood the gossip lanes. He resides in West Egg, home of the nouveaux riche, across the sound from East Egg, where the established older money claims home to. He’s largely known for his extravagant parties, open to all corners of society, but he doesn’t participate in none of them. His actions prompt one to guess a reason, which revealed is the sole reason for all of Gatsby’s achievements. When becoming friends with Nick Carraway, he gives him his back story – his family, his travels in Europe, his service in WW1 and his college days in Oxford – all to give him proof that he stems from the same pool of individuals as Nick does. This also unveils Gatsby to be innocent, and honest with most people, traits that come into conflict with his foil the aristocratic bully Tom Buchanan (Daisy’s husband). Even early on, the myth of Jay Gatsby starts to crumble away as its revealed he came to his wealth through criminal endeavors, confirmed by his meeting with Meyer Wolfshiem.
Gatsby’s behavior changes once he becomes reacquainted with Daisy Buchanan. From the meeting in Nick’s house and onward, his usual routines stop; the parties cease, and his servants are fired to avoid gossip. Perhaps a prime example of the changing climate in the novel is the green light, no longer observable due to the enveloping fog. It is here that the reader begins to see under the façade that is Jay Gatsby, now involved in an affair with Daisy, in a way a counterbalance to her husband Tom Buchanan in the middle of an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Jordan Baker unveils some history between the duo (their stint in 1918; her marrying Tom instead of Gatsby only cause of his wealth) and provides further basis for Gatsby’s reasons for becoming who he is now – all to win back Daisy. She is the sole reason why Gatsby stood where he was. This would affirm his actions as he threw his parties in hopes of reeling Daisy in. Another example is his house, which he bought to stay close to her. This also coincides with Gatsby’s illusion of...

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