A Detailed Study Of Jay Gatsby’s Character As Depicted In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald’s
Jay Gatsby is a character that is full of mystery. Throughout the early chapters, there are many details of Gatsby that are left unexplained. It is revealed that Gatsby was actually born into poverty and worked his way up from there. In chapter 6, Fitzgerald includes Gatsby’s thoughts, specifically Gatsby’s idealism. Gatsby not only wants to rise from poverty, but he also wants to be above the world with his wealth. Gatsby
To help describe Gatsby’s idealism, Fitzgerald creates an image. Fitzgerald likens Gatsby’s ambitions to a “secret place” that “is above the trees”. These descriptions make it evident that Gatsby does not want to stay in the same social class, but move up and become an elite. The book previously explains that Gatsby was at one point poor, and Daisy’s family disapproved of him because he was poor. It might appear that Gatsby wants wealth so that he can be with Daisy, but this is not the case. Fitzgerald creates an image of a ladder that connects the secret place that Gatsby wants to the ground. Gatsby realizes that this ladder must be “climbed alone”, meaning that he does not intend to take Daisy with him. In this secret place, Gatsby has access to the “incomparable milk of wonder”. He does not intend to just become a wealthy person, but become so wealthy that he touches the supernatural. Nick has previously described Gatsby as “the Son of God”. This adequately describes Gatsby. He is a man, but at the same time, his wealth is so expansive that he is almost not human.
It is clear what Gatsby’s motives are, but the method Gatsby uses to get what he wants should be explored. Although he clearly wants to marry Daisy, he does not appear to love Daisy. Fitzgerald writes that he did not kiss Daisy until he was finished hearing a “tuning fork that had been struck upon a star”. This language makes it seem like their kiss was not spontaneous, but planned. If their kiss was spontaneous, there would not be a need for Gatsby to listen for any kind of sign. The kiss holds more significance outside of being just an expression of love. Fitzgerald explains that this kiss would “forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath”. Here, Gatsby thinks that in order for him to become wealthy, he needs to marry Daisy. He does not want her because he loves her personality or her company. He wants her because he has projected all his fantasies of a wealthy life into her. Daisy comes from an elite home, and Gatsby wants to be part of the elite. But Fitzgerald knows that Daisy will not be able to satisfy Gatsby, as Daisy’s breath’s is described as “perishable” and Gatsby’s visions are “unutterable”. After kissing Daisy, Fitzgerald says that the “incarnation was complete”. The word incarnation means that a person embodies a deity.
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