September 28, 2014
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald shows how every individual is susceptible to liminality. Set in Long Island in the 1920s, Nick Carraway, the narrator enters a world of money and glamour where he stumbles upon Gatsby. Gatsby, the protagonist, is infatuated with Daisy whom he lost connection with 4 years previous. He is determined to win her love back with his newly obtained wealth. In the process of doing so Gatsby lies about his background and focuses on material items to win her heart, which untimely fails. On the other hand Nick is also friends with Tom, Daisy's husband, and watches him lust over another woman named Myrtle. An examination of liminality will show the reader how liminality plays a role in each of the characters choices and how the reader can learn from the characters mistakes. Like death valley, each of the characters are in a liminal state.
A character who is stuck in a liminal state is Jay Gatsby himself, he is stuck in the past to recover the love he shared with Daisy , who is now married, and in trying to achieve this goal he disregards his Jewish heritage. A perfect example is when Gatsby speaks of his past with Nick. He utters " God's truth" when he insists that he is the " son of some wealthy people [...] educated at Oxford" and how " it is a family tradition" (65). Gatsby is faking the social status of his family which symbolizes resentment and fabrication of his true family lineage to show he is worthy to be with a woman of high social statues, Daisy. Moreover, Gatsby reinvents himself further by changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby. His disordered image of love brings him to a liminal stage, Gatsby is so consumed in a image of love that he" revalu[e's] everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes" . This quote explains how Gatsby is stuck in a world revolving around an illusion of Daisy...
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