Jay Gatsby is an extremely interesting character. We find out about him through the eyes of Nick Carraway. In his life, he was always playing a role to the people around. An example of this is “he was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so particularly American” and his alteration of the past is another.
His lying is blatant in some cases “I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years”, and when questioned by Tom Buchanan about it, starts backtracking “I only stayed 5 months. Other claims, were later found to be untrue “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West-all dead now”. This was found to be a lie when Nick meets his father at the funeral. The reader wonders why Gatsby feels the need to lie, but maybe he does it to warm people to him. When Gatsby is in the position of being introduced to Tom at a restaurant by Nick he displays some very strange behaviour “They shook hands briefly and a strained, unfamiliar look of embarrassment came over Gatsby’s face…
I turned toward Mr Gatsby, but he was no longer there. ” I think that this is because he feels guilty about taking Daisy away from Tom, guilt that is not shown in his pathological lying. Something that I think is quite apt for describing Jay Gatsby is “I don’t want to do anything out of the way! ” He wants to fit in with everyone else. He tries to fit in by having lots of parties. He doesn’t seem very relaxed at these parties and tries not to spend too much time with each guest as he moves from group to phone to group.
Jay’s desire to have Daisy is tremendous. She is what he wants and eventually, he dies because of her. Her approval of his house and furnishings meant so much to him “he revalued everything in his house according to what response it drew from her well-loved eyes. ” He goes quite far to show her that he is successful “He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us…. while we admired he brought more and more and the soft rich heap mounted higher.
Jay’s obsession with Daisy is also shown by the fact that he knows how long it is since they have last seen each other “Five years next November. ” “He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited for his teeth to set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. ” Having Daisy with him meant a lot” He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited for his teeth to set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. ”
At the end of the book, you find out that Jay Gatsby was corrupt from a phone call to the house “Young Parke’s in trouble. They picked him up when he handed the bonds over the counter. ” This doesn’t really change the reader’s opinion of him because throughout the book, it has been hinted at, from his conversations with Mr Wolfshiem to gossip from people at the parties and his lying. Nick Carraway narrates the story in the book. It is through his opinions that we form most of our thoughts about the other characters.
I would say that he is obsessed with how other people live and tries to be part of their world, but never really manages it. A few examples of this are “I liked to walk up 5th Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no1 would ever know or disprove” and “enormous house… consoling proximity of millionaires. ” He likes being with Gatsby because “anything can happen… anything at all”.
He admits at the beginning of the book, that he makes an exception of judging Gatsby, for whom he is prepared to suspend both the moral code of his upbringing and the limit of intolerance, because Gatsby had an “extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person”. Nick Carraway is quite pacifistic in the fact that he doesn’t want to provoke anyone by voicing too strong an opinion and he can say, “I am one of the few honest people that I have known”.
This is something that Jordan picks up on and sticks with him, as “she wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage. ” I think that Nick has strong feelings of love for Daisy. This is not because he loves her, but her lifestyle and everything that her voice represents “It was full of money-that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. ” I would say that the advantages that his father talks about in the beginning are not necessarily financial as he is in awe of money. From what Nick says, I think that he is slightly racist.
The way he talks about Meyer Wolfshiem and his wife is quite derogatory” A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair, which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half darkness…. expressive nose…. Jewess scrutinized me with black hostile eyes. ” This could have been the attitude at the time, but it doesn’t seem as though anyone else in the book has this particular attitude to them. I think that it would be difficult to consider Nick a hero.
This is mainly because he has no direction in life and is so wrapped up in the lives of Gatsby, the Buchanans and Jordan that he loses the fact that he has a life of his own, even forgetting his own birthday. Jay Gatsby I wouldn’t be able to consider a hero for several reasons. He has an aim in life, but it is so strong that he is obsessed with it. He lives his life for this purpose and, while having made lots of money, doesn’t buy anything for himself. When he buys things, he buys things to impress other people. I would say that by dying, he does not become a martyr, but the pathos of his life is revealed.