The Great Gatsby Character Analysis
Fell in love with luxury/grace/charm, lied about his past to woo her First speaking role in chapter 3 Initially aloof, enigmatic host, surrounded by luxury, powerful and beautiful people Subject of gossip Chi- learn of his childhood Chi- proof of criminality Later on- lovesick, naive, innocent, hopeful, centered on dreams Delayed revelations- ’emphasis the theatrical quality of Gatsby approach to life’ Transformed self into a persona ‘Ability to transform hope and dreams into reality’ Title = reminiscent of The Great Houdini/adolescent’ etc. Suggesting Jay IS only an illusion Dream of Daisy falls apart (Wall Street Crash) Contrasts Nick & Tom Passionate, active Loyal and good hearted Loses love interest to Tom, like George Wilson. Temporarily lost touch with father MASC.
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political commentator Chris Matthews sees him as the eternal American striver: “Gatsby needed more than money: he needed to be someone who had always had this blind faith that he can retrofit his very existence to Daisy’s specifications is the heart and soul of The Great Gatsby. It’s the classic story of the fresh start, the second chance. ‘appears to be the quintessential American male hero… Powerful businessman with shady connections, drives a glamorous car'(- Michael Kismet and Amy Aaron’s) Often used as a symbol for wealth Believes American dream New man = born when he met Dan Cody Restless- like America, resourceful and active Never cynical or corrupt Cannot see daisy fault (using him for a release from her boring life & retaliation from husband) Pretends he, not Daisy, killed Myrtle Killed by George Wilson “Jimmy was bound to get ahead.
He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once, and beat him for it” “Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once. ” “it’s more that he was a German spy during the war. He was never quite still; there was always a tapping foot somewhere or the impatient opening and closing of a hand. Consumed with wonder at her presence’ (Daisy) Nick Caraway Sober, reflective Narrator Slowly moves to forefront From upper Midwest, family in America a little over 70 years Sent substitute to war (therefore of a wealthier class) Acts similarly to an ‘Everyman’ Is not blinded by glitz and glamour Disgusted by realization of shallowness, hollowness, uncaring and self-serving attitude of his superiors.
Distances self instead of catering to them More racial and down-to-earth than Buchannan and Jordan Baker (and so distances himself) Has personal integrity Affected by Gatsby death grows, from a man dreaming of a fortune, to a man who knows only too well what misery a fortune can bring romantic relationship with Jordan Baker calls himself “one Of the few honest people that have ever known Daisy Fay/Buchanan Enigmatic Tom’s wife, Gatsby love interest, Nick’s second cousin one removed, mother of Pam Beautiful, charming Selfish, shallow, hurtful See the world for what it is, cruel (why she’s happy her child is a daughter so he can be a ‘beautiful little fool’ Character built on light, purity and Innocence Otherworldly- angelic White- purity or void? Name- pure, centered around gold (wealth, status and money) Finds nouveau riches to be tedious and vulgar Materialistic “Thinking about Gatsby stretching his arms out to the green light across the water, we can’t help thinking of the Sirens: the mythical island dwellers whose singing was so seductive that sailors would throw themselves into the sea and drown trying to reach them. ” Capacity for love and wants to be loved Idealized image of relationship with Gatsby
Fickle Tom makes decisions for her undecided Us Percival ‘her voice is full of money’ low, thrilling voice High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. Human orchid of a woman Tom Buchanan Cold-hearted, aristocratic bully Daisy’s husband Staggeringly rich, for centuries Relatively young Arrogant Questionable love for Daisy Racist (more accepted then) Confident dads George to believe Gatsby is at fault It was a body capable of enormous leverage-?a cruel body. Brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen “Go on. He won’t annoy you. I think he realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over. George Wilson Myrtle’s husband Suicide Kills Gatsby Owner of run-down auto shop by the Valley of Ashes Respectable?