Jay Gatsby; The White Knight Fighting For The Fair Maiden

1023 words - 5 pages

Jay Gatsby;
The White Knight Fighting for the Fair Maiden
Courtly love is a fundamental metaphor of Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, and, therefore, the elusive Jay Gatsby plays out his role as a courtly lover throughout the novel. Gatsby’s abnormal situation with Daisy reflects the metaphor of courtly love. Many of the characteristics used to define courtly love are reflected in Gatsby’s actions. Every choice that he makes is an attempt to win Daisy’s love, however unworthy of it she proves to be. He and Daisy’s relationship reflects the way that knights had to prove that they were cultivated to win a woman, as well as abiding to the adulterous aspect of courtly love, and being an example of the many times the “white knight” dies for their love.
In order to achieve courtly love, a knight at the bottom of the noble hierarchy has to prove that he is well educated and cultivated as well as a good warrior. As a young man, Gatsby “accepted a commission as first lieutenant”(65). By accepting a position in the army, he shows Daisy that he is a strong warrior. He demonstrates that he is a modern-day knight, who acts as a warrior for a good cause. As well as being a good soldier, Gatsby is an “Oxford man” (49). When he tells people that he is an alumni of Oxford, he is trying to show off the fact that he is well educated. He wants people to know that he is refined, and cultured as well as being intelligent. He longs to prove that he is worthy of Daisy and worthy of her love. Soon, Gatsby moves to West Egg with his newly accumulated wealth and “[buys] that house so that Daisy [will] be just across the bay”(78). Gatsby starts getting involved in business with people like Meyer Wolfsheim, who are not exactly chivalrous, so that he can amass enough wealth to prove that he is well educated. In this instance, Gatsby is not as chivalrous as a knight, but his motives are as good as any that a possible knight would have for his actions. He hopes to prove to Daisy that he has a substantial amount of wealth and that she can have a lavish lifestyle with him. At age, seventeen, when James Gatz becomes Jay Gatsby, he creates a refined, well educated persona that has the potential to live up to a woman like Daisy’s hopes and dreams for the future.
Back in earlier centuries courtly love was usually not between a husband and wife. This adulterous aspect of courtly love is clearly presented by Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship. After Gatsby leaves Daisy to go to war, “she marrie[s] Tom Buchanan”(75) but she “[will not] let go of the letter”(76) that she is clenching in her fist. Thus, she seemingly moves on from Gatsby to Tom Buchanan, but she cannot let go of Gatsby’s letter. The passion that Gatsby and Daisy share cannot be recreated in her new marriage. She cannot give up the love and...

Find Another Essay On Jay Gatsby; The White Knight Fighting for the Fair Maiden

The Great Gatsby- Jay Gatsby V

615 words - 2 pages , and his determination to live in a perfect world with Daisy and their perfect love. Gatsby has many visible flaws—his obvious lies, his mysterious way of avoiding straight answers. But they are shadowed over by his gentle smile and his visible hunger for an ideal future. The coarse and playful Jay Gatsby who throws wild parties and spends lavishly on friends and strangers doesn’t hold as much reality as the quiet Gatsby who dreams of happiness

Jay Gatsby and the American Dream

1460 words - 6 pages attainable dreams and to hope for more is to taunt fate. Works Cited Berman, Ronald. “The Great Gatsby and the Good American Life.” Jay Gatsby. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004. 125-136. Decker, Jeffrey. “Gatsby’s Pristine Dream: The Diminishment of the Self-Made Man in the Tribal Twenties.” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 210, (1994): n. pag. Web. 16 April 2014 . Fitzgerald, Scott. The

The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1374 words - 5 pages The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby       Pathetic is a term used to describe someone who is pitifully unsuccessful.  Success is not necessarily measured in wealth or fame, but it is measured by how much one has accomplished in life.  A successful person is one who has set many goals for himself and then goes out in life and accomplishes some of them, but goes on living even if failing on others.  In the

The Character of Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby

760 words - 3 pages sacrificed all openings for love as he stoked the coals trying to ignite a past flame with a married women. Even when Jay and Daisy’s relationship was over in the readers mind Gatsby still clung to a hope of having a life with her. He loyally stayed at her house to the wee hours of the morning, convinced her husband was a live wire that could erupt and physically punish his wife. This he displayed to a women that is impossible to love anyone but

Jay Gatsby as Tragic Hero of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

971 words - 4 pages to Aristotle's definition.   Jay Gatsby is an enormously rich man, and in the flashy years of the jazz age, wealth defined importance. Gatsby has endless wealth, power and influence but never uses material objects selfishly. Everything he owns exists only to attain his vision. Nick feels "inclined to reserve all judgements" (1), but despite his disapproval of Gatsby's vulgarity, Nick respects him for the strength and unselfishness of his

The Warrior Maiden

1788 words - 7 pages different versions that are, for their most part, dissimilar and adapted to the particular tradition of each tribe. The Southern tribes, such as the Hopi people who are based in Mexico, have an almost entirely different version of the "Warrior Maiden" story. The Oneida version of this legend offers a memorable and very beautiful example of a true heroine: the young maiden, named Aliquipiso saves the Oneidas from their rival tribe, the Mingos, through

Death and the Maiden

646 words - 3 pages “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” –Oscar Wilde Death and the Maiden discusses Princess Diana, her media, and her public from the point-of-view of Maureen Dowd. Was Diana the “spendthrift of her own celebrity”? Is the media a market of vultures feeding off of Diana? Does the public actually have any remorse for the Princess? There is no right or wrong answers for these

Jay Gatsby the Dream: Charlie Wales the Nightmare

1639 words - 7 pages Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald created Jay Gatsby to be his symbol; “’Gatsby?’ demanded Daisy. ‘What Gatsby?’” (Fitzgerald 11). Gatsby was Fitzgerald’s enigmatic symbol of the American Dream, the symbol of a boisterous age, and most importantly an allegory for the decadence that America found in the time period. “Gatsby epitomizes the mystery and glamour of the future dream; without question, the struggle to fulfill a lofty unrealized conception

Fighting for the Common Good

1436 words - 6 pages as they stand up for what is right. Since fighting the Taliban requires great personal sacrifices and the risk of death, some are tempted to say that American soldiers should leave Afghanistan and stop fighting the Taliban. However, if American soldiers choose not fight the Taliban, then evil will be allowed to flourish and good will be denied. It is only through acting by Aquinas’s philosophy and not Gandhi’s that the common good of the Afghan

Jay Gatsby's Illusions in Fitzgerald’s American classic "The Great Gatsby"

761 words - 3 pages In life, what we perceive tends to show misconception in how the thought plays out. A good example would be the character Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic: The Great Gatsby. Gatsby was unable to distinguish between his love for Daisy, a reality, versus the illusion that he could recapture her love by establishing and inventing a fraudulent past. He believed he could repeat the past, and acquire a flaunting wealth. In the

Jay Gatsby’s Dangerous Illusions in The Great Gatsby

1285 words - 5 pages Jay’s Dangerous Illusions in The Great Gatsby         America is a land of opportunity and hopes and dreams can become reality. The "American Dream" consists of the notion that the struggling poor can achieve financial success through hard work. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, puts this premise to the test while also warning against the dangers of believing too passionately in any dream. The central character, Jay Gatsby

Similar Essays

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

Jay Gatsby The Magician Essay

748 words - 3 pages magician’s pattern by changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby. Essentially Jay Gatsby was his stage name in which his entire illusion of a life grew on. His entire life is a story, a stage act and in a way, his form of entertainment. Owl Eyes makes mention of it in the library, saying that he believes his life is a show, as he believed for a moment that not even Gatsby’s books were real. “Quote about books being just spines etc etc etc.” Owl Eyes

Jay Gatsby The Tragic Hero Essay

681 words - 3 pages . If Gatsby died in trying to get 'Daisy', is Fitzgerald denouncing the American Dream? There is, however, evidence that Fitzgerald still believes in the American Dream, as Daisy bears a few dissimilarities to it. That is, Daisy, in principal, is far more superficial, cursory, and lax than the "white picket fence" American Dream. Could Fitzgerald also have been trying to convey that the Dream has been perverted to such an extent that he-who pursues-it shall fail tragically, just as Gatsby had? The possibilities are endless, but one thing Fitzgerald was trying to express is certain: do not follow in the footsteps of Jay Gatsby, or we too will meet a tragic demise.

The Traits Of Jay Gatsby Essay

1470 words - 6 pages their own ways. When you take them together, however, you discover the complicated and unique individual that is Jay Gatsby. One of the traits of Gatsby that makes him truly great is his remarkable capacity for hope. He has faith that what he desires will come to him if he works hard enough. He does not comprehend the cruelty and danger that is the rest of the world. Gatsby, while a man of questionable morals, is as wide-eyed and innocent as a