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February 10, 2005

His Majesty, the Great Gatsby

Personally, I would want to look at Gatsby's handwriting... When Nick is invited to Gatsby's party towards the beginning of the book, he comments, "it was signed Jay Gatsby in a majestic hand."

Just thinking about what Gatsby might look like makes him seem king-like. Additionally, he acts nobly, even though he's not really very noble in my opinion; he treats money as no object (example: the woman at the first party saying that when she ripped her dress he asked for her address and mailed another to her), and he is said to have worn a pink suit... (What Not to Wear, anyone?)

Moira (who I've been linking to a lot recently...) mentioned that Gatsby could br considered as a God-like figure in this book. With the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckelberg, I find it hard to believe that Gastby is God (as in the Christian beliefs), but really I think the he might be more like a pagan "god" than anything. He is worshipped by many for his qualities, but he has no redeeming characteristics that could be the basis of a diety in a transcendentalist religion (which is what, in my Faith, Religion, and Society class, we give as criteria to be a god). But as just a god, like Hercules or something, sure Gatsby could be considered god-like--he lives a rich life and leaves a legacy, so that could be reason enough.

Through reading The Great Gatsby the second time, I'm learning more about the characters than I noticed in my first reading in my junior year of high school. Many particular peculiar things are standing out more this second spin cycle, particularly little nuances making Gatsby, Nick, and even Daisy more human.

Fitzgerald's style can make it more challenging to find meaning in the characters with his verbosity, like John mentioned in his blog. Sure, loads of metaphors make me giddy just for pure love of the English language... but I think in the long run, all the words are giving us the ultimate map to understanding Gatsby's quest for Daisy and his pseudo-royal, half-god facade.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at February 10, 2005 10:17 PM


I know exactly what you mean!!! I also read this in high school and now the characters just seem to come alive...it's funny how much our thoughts and realizations change as we grow up.

I'm glad metaphors make somebody else giddy....now I don't feel like TOO big of a dork.


Posted by: stormy at February 13, 2005 10:14 PM

Hey Stormy, thanks... I'm not the only one.

I really think it's interesting how my perspective on Gatsby's life as a whole has changed since I read this book the first time. I used to think he wasn't the controlling one, that he was just the innocent love-sick fool. However, I'm beginning to see the seams of his own plots and that he's not always the victim.

Posted by: Karissa at February 14, 2005 10:37 AM

So what do we know about Jay Gatsby? (Besides his obvious physical beauty...) It's that he is obsessed with Daisy; she's right there! So painfully close that - ohmygod - he can almost reach out and touch her.

Posted by: Neil at February 15, 2005 1:38 PM

(I don't know if that last comment is for real or if it's spam... judging by the email address...)

Anyway, Gatsby is obviously portrayed as one of the "beautiful" people. But Tom really drives in the feeling that Gatsby is "new" money and that he doesn't have class or status due to that fact.

As for the characters coming alive, it's interesting to note that I've never seen the movie... I think if I saw it, the book might be ruined. I tend to like having my own images of characters in my mind, and movies certainly cast different people than I would expect to play the roles.

Posted by: Karissa at February 15, 2005 4:45 PM

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