The Great Gatsby Research: Gatsby Is Considered a Christ Figure

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 7 (2259 words) Published: May 10, 2013
A Christ figure is depicted as a visionary character who is symbolic to Jesus Christ and suggests towards the beginning of the novel, the reader learns more about Gatsby’s early life and can see how he to Biblical stories. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the intriguing and mysterious character Jay Gatsby is undoubtedly represented as a Christ figure. Fitzgerald uses strikingly similar characteristics between Gatsby and Jesus, resulting images to the Bible and Gatsby’s ultimate death echoing that of Jesus’ crucifixion to relate Gatsby to Christ.

Jay Gatsby, displays various qualities and characteristics of Jesus Christ that relates to Jesus (Dilworth). He rows out to Dan Cody only to let him know that he has anchored “over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior” and “that the wind might catch him and break him up in half an hour”(Dilworth). This instance describes Gatsby as showing concern for another even though he at the time should be worried about his own situation and life because of his jobs as a “clam-digger and a salmon-fisher” that brought him only food and a place to sleep (Fitzgerald 98). Gatsby demonstrates concern toward one he didn’t know much like Jesus showed the same quality towards those whom he barely knew. Another virtue Fitzgerald demonstrates Gatsby obtaining is hope. Early in the story, Gatsby is described as having “a heightened sensitivity to the promises of life” and also, “an extraordinary gift for hope” (“Gatsby”). Throughout the novel, Gatsby’s hope is illustrated through his desire to be with Daisy and his belief in “the green light” that represented the hope for a future with her (Fitzgerald 180). Gatsby’s strong belief in hope connects to both Jesus having an abundance of hope and one of the three “theological virtues” being hope (“Gatsby”). Gatsby’s character is also illustrated at his parties by one of the women (“Gatsby”). She says that Gatsby “doesn’t want trouble with anybody” (“Gatsby”) Gatsby’s gentle manner seen here relates to Jesus when he states he is “as gentle and lowly in heart” (“Gatsby”). Gatsby being parallel to Jesus is brought up yet again when Gatsby asks Nick “what’s your opinion of me anyhow?” (“Gatsby”). This question reflects Jesus’ when he asks his disciples “who do you say that I am?” (“Gatsby”).

Fitzgerald does a good job alluding to the Bible in his novel by using images and events to display the correlation amongst the messiah Jesus and Jay Gatsby. Both Gatsby and Jesus are left alone(Dilworth). Carraway “leaves him standing there...watching over nothing” in the same way Jesus’ disciples rest while he suffers (Dilworth).The sense of “watching” also alludes to the Bible when Jesus encourages his disciples in Gethsemane “watch with me” and remarking, “you could not watch with me one hour?” (Dilworth). In both cases they are left alone to watch over something they believed in. Jay Gatsby is known for hosting extravagant parties. Nick mentions that at Gatsby’s parties “people were not invited; they went there” and also that he “had been actually invited” (“Gatsby”). Gatsby’s parties are quite similar to the wedding feast in the Bible. In the parable after the king realizes there weren’t invited guests, he has soldiers collect people on the street to attend (“Gatsby”). Like Gatsby’s guests they weren’t originally invited (“Gatsby”). Gatsby’s parties had not only a complicated guest list, but also depicted as enchanting. Although Gatsby didn’t create miracles like Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, his parties were fantasy-like and miraculous (Wood). They included, “floating rounds of cocktails” and before beginning a dance, a woman “snatches one out of the air, dumps it down for courage”(Wood).

Despite evidence given, many are convinced Gatsby is not a Christ figure. In one’s opinion, the dominant tone seems like “one of artificiality” and claims Gatsby is “the God of money, power, prestige and falsehood” stating...
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