Analysis of Jay Gatsby
Jay Gatsby is a young man, around thirty years old, who rose from an impoverished childhood in rural North Dakota to become amazingly wealthy. However, he achieved this lofty goal by participating in organized crime, including distributing illegal alcohol and trading in stolen securities. 2.
From his early youth, Gatsby despised poverty and longed for wealth and sophistication. 3.
Though Gatsby has always wanted to be rich, his main motivation in acquiring his fortune was his love for Daisy Buchanan, whom he met as a young military officer in Louisville before leaving to fight in World War I in 1917. Gatsby immediately fell in love with Daisy, but his love was more for her aura of luxury, grace, and charm than the actual woman. 4.
Daisy promised to wait for him when he left for the war, but married Tom in 1919, while Gatsby was studying at Oxford. 5.
From that moment on, Gatsby dedicated himself to winning Daisy back, and his acquisition of millions of dollars, his purchase of a gaudy mansion on West Egg, and his lavish weekly parties are all merely means to that end. 6.
Fitzgerald delays the introduction of most of this information until fairly late in the novel. Why do you think Fitzgerald would this? 7.
Gatsby's reputation precedes himGatsby himself does not even appear in a speaking role until Chapter III. Fitzgerald initially presents Gatsby as the aloof, mysterious host of the unbelievably opulent parties thrown every week at his mansion. He appears surrounded by spectacular luxury, powerful men, and beautiful women. 8.
He is the subject of a whirlwind of gossip throughout New York and is already a kind of legendary celebrity before he is ever introduced to the reader. 9.
Fitzgerald propels the novel forward through the early chapters by shrouding Gatsby's background and the source of his wealth in mystery. 10.
As a result, the reader's first, distant impressions of Gatsby are quite different from that of the lovesick,...
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