The Great Gatsby- Caracter of Gatsby

Topics: World, Capital accumulation, Self-Made Man Pages: 2 (463 words) Published: June 3, 2007
"It is not uncommon to hear the term ‘a self-made man'". In many ways Gatsby fits this definition and in some ways he takes it to literally. This ways will be discussed in the following literary essay.

It can be said that Gatsby has a Platonic conception of himself. Plato believed that the physical, material world in which we live is an imitation of a more perfect world of ideas, in which the soul is much more important than the body. James Gatz rejects the physical reality of himself and his origens in favour of a more romantic identity. He believes that he has limitless potential, so he creates an ideal version of himself in his imagination, which he then tries to live up to.

Gatsby rejects his origens by acquiring a fortune. Gatsby was not born rich, but in order for him to realize his dream first needs to be accepted. In New York and its environs, social acceptance is based on money, or materialism. Gatsby tries to buy his way into the world of ‘old money' by a show of wealth, acquired illegally. However, he remains on the fringe of this world. Part of Daisy's attraction for him is her wealth- her voice is full of money.

As Gatsby develops sertain aspects of himself that he thinks necessary in the realization of his dream, he perfects them. However, the more he invests himself in these aspects the less dismissive their contradictiveness become. This leads to the idea that Gatsby has a mistaken identity.

The crook- He is the elegant young roughneck who sometimes looks as if he had killed a man. Gatsby can also be seen as a knight. Daisy is his grail, the perfect woman/goddess which he seeks. She is sacred to him. In another light Gatsby can be painted as a pioneer. He has the extraordinary gift for hope and the romantic readiness of the pioneer; the capacity for wonder; discovers the new world of his dreams, but is also brash, vulgar and corrupt.

The paradoxical nature of Gatsby is captured in Nick's description of him as an elegant young...
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