Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gatsby's real history

What is Gatsby's real history? How does that affect the reader's opinion of him? How does that affect Nick's opinion's of him?

8 comments:

Kyle said...

Jay Gatsby was an extremely wealthy young man who resided in a grandiose mansion in West Egg. There was a reason Fitzgerald at first did not introduce Gatsby until Chapter 3. Fitzgerald wanted the Nick Carraway, along with the readers, to assume Gatsby as a powerful man who was surrounded by aristocratic men, making him the main gossip in New York. However, we later learn that he was once a janitor, who paid off tuition fees with his salary, and a college drop out. He accumulated his wealth from illicit activities from purveying alcohol and trading solen securities. Fitzgerald's technique worked well because I thought Gatsby, after all, was a rich person who had everything from his day of birth.

Seo Hee (Kyle) Lee said...

I thought about how his history affected the readers' opinions, and here are some I have pondered about.

1. Gatsby was a dedicated man. Despite his enormous wealth and power, he dreamed solely of Daisy. If I were him, I would probably forget about Daisy and enjoy my life. Yet, Gatsby was different.

2. From Nick's point of view, he at first thought Gatsby was a perfect man who had practically everything. He doubted Gatsby would have any "love" problems. But when he learns Gatsby's effort were only a step made to garner the heart of Daisy, he probably would have been shocked to fall in love with such "rotten" woman.

Young Eui Hong said...

I agree with Kyle because it is true that the reason Fitzgerald did not reveal Gatsby until chapter three was for the reader to get a rough idea about Gatsby being a, powerful, wealthy man from the beginning. however, as Gatsby's past is revealed, one can realize that Gatsby had a past full of hardship and pain to climb to where he is today and with the fact about him throwing parties and showing his wealth because of love problems with Daisy, the reader's thoughts about him change and one is disappointed about this.

Min Jae said...

The way Fitzgerald wrote the book influences the people to assume the character Gatsby has. By leaving detailed comments about Gatsby and giving generalizations plus rumors about him it makes the reader, as well as Nick, to judge Gatsby's personality solely on his actions, for example his parties. But as one learns the real truth for his actions, the reader might become more sympathetic about Gatsby as Nick did.

Da-Re Kim said...

Gatsby's real history is totally different from his present. Gatsby was a very poor young man who was left by a girl becuase he was not rich enough. In the begining Gatsby is introduced as the most luxurious rich man in West Egg who had the biggest parties. The readers and Nick think that Gatsby is a perfect man who is happy and wealthy. When his true history is revealed, Nick is suprised at the unexpected person Gatsby is. This affects Gatsby's character by making him seem dishonest and fake.

Norberto said...

Gatsby at first seemed as the perfect man. He was wealthy, powerful, good-looking, humble, and there was no sight of any defect within him. Yet, he was born in a poor family and had various low salary jobs. All the hard effort he put into making such flamboyant and luxurious parties was to call the attention of Daisy, whom was Gatsby’s fascination. I think this was a harsh mistake on part of Gatsby because he struggled too much to get Daisy’s attention, even when he could have had relationships 1000 times better. Nick thought he was a perfect man, he thought that Gatsby was almighty and had no flaws. But as he learns more about him, he understood that Gatsby isn’t so mighty after all and does many incredible things for something that truly isn’t worth it.

clara said...

Gatsby does not turn out to be who everyone thought him to be. At first, I believed Gatsby was one of the “old” rich; rich since birth, although I did wonder why he lived in the West Egg rather than in the East Egg. But it turns out that he was just a simple young poor man who worked as a janitor in college to pay his tuition; someone who was madly in love with a girl who needed wealth and riches to survive. I think when Gatsby’s real history is revealed, everyone can be “closer” to Gatsby, sympathize more with him and truly view him as a reachable human with defects like everyone else.

dani.k said...

By not reveling much about Gatsby early in the book, Fitzgerald makes us feel much like the rest of the people in the story (the ones attending his parties). He sucks us into that guessing game, filling us with wonder and yearning for the truth about the mysterious rich man that lives in extravagance – the great Gatsby. Fitzgerald amazingly makes it impossible not to judge Gatsby (even after Nick’s opening words, which were almost warning us not to judge a person’s character, especially not Gatsby’s). Throughout the story, we view Gatsby through everyone’s eyes and assumptions; the reader might even build him up into somewhat of an untouchable.

As he reveals more about Gatsby, we begin to hate what he stands for; we begin to view him as an insolent money worshiper, even. And then… it all shatters. Nick begins seeing the true Gatsby: the worker, the victim, and we do the same. Fitzgerald traps us in our own human nature, allows us to swoop down to other’s level, and then reveals everything just to let us feel as part of that high society that is so demoralized and judgmental.