Character Analysis


LiteratureChoice: The Great Gatsby

LiteratureChoice: The Great Gatsby

TheGreat Gatsby is a literature novel published in the twentiethcentury. The book is a creation of life in America during the earlyrevolution. During that era, sex and alcohol were the order of mostAmericans. There are many characters fictional to portray differentelements in the society at that time. One of the characters, NickCarraway, moves to a long island in 1922. He rents a small house inWest Egg in a place where there was a mansion of yet anothercharacter, Jay Gatsby (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).Gatsby is described as a philanthropist and most of the times throwparties to his neighbors. He seems to have a secret past as peoplelove to gossip about him all the time. All the events are happeningin the wake of the war and industrial revolution. The author wantsthe reader to capture how it was important to win a lover no matterthe means. The book is opened with a fictional epigraph (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).The environments too have different settings. The author wants tocapture the differences between the people who lived in the East Eggand the West Egg. Honesty is the most emphasized virtue in the wholeset up. This paper will be a discussion of fictional characters inthe book (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).

JayGatsby Background

Gatsbywas born from a very humble background. Due to being ambitious, helearned the manners of the rich. He has a compassionate heart asobserved when he saved the wealthy man during a storm. To hisadvantage, Gatsby got employed by the man he saved and learned themanners of the rich from his family. He then enlisted in the militarywhere he went to World War 1. We find out that people saw theuniforms of soldiers as a symbol of wealth.


JayGatsby is the label character of the book. According to the book, heseems to be a young man around thirty years of age. He rose from adisadvantaged childhood in rural North Dakota. He becomes a wealthyman and sources have that he engaged in an organized crime such asdistributing illegal alcohol. He is also a trader who trades instolen securities. Even at his tender age, he hated poverty. Helonged for riches and a mature life. Jay attended school to collegelevel, but he dropped after two weeks. The main reason is that hehated the janitor`s job that helped him to pay school fees. As ayoung man, Jay fell in love with Daisy Buchanan (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).They both met in Louisville as a young soldier before leaving tofight in World War 1. Nevertheless, he was more attracted to Daisy onaccounts of her luxury, grace, and charm. Due to such sophistication,he had to tell lies about his background to win her. Daisy assuredthat she would wait for him after the war so that they could getmarried. Nonetheless, she married Tom Buchanan while Jay was atOxford University studying (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).

Whenhe got to know of the happenings, he dedicated all his time andenergy on winning her back. By this time, Jay had acquired someproperties and had sufficient money. He bought a house in West Eggwhere he hosted parties just as a strategy to win Daisy back. Jay’sreputation precedes him. According to the intentions of the author,Jay is presented as aloof. Jay’s life is full of speculators due tohim being spectacular. Everyone in New York seems to be interested indiscussing him. He is portrayed as a legendary celebrity even beforethe reader can read anything about him. The author uses figurativesuspense to write the first chapters of the book (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).This means that the author wants the reader to get familiarized withthe surroundings and backgrounds of Gatsby. His definite childhood isdiscussed in chapter six while his criminal doings is discussed inchapter seven. The kind of literature tools used by the author leavesthe reader to wonder on a distance impression created by Jay.Initially, he is described as a lovesick, naïve young man

Thedelayed character technique is in a way a literature procedure. It ismeant to open the reader to understand the perspective of Gatsbyapproach to life. The author wants the reader to know the realpersonality of Gatsby. On a different note, Gatsby is a characterassassin. We see him changing his name from James Gatz to Gatsby Jayassassinating the original character (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).He is trying all means to paint a new picture to the world bypresenting a reinvention of him. He has an internal mechanism ofself-motivation. This is demonstrated by the way in which he pursuesDaisy.

Thereader is at this point supposed to deduce the extraordinary abilityJay has over changing his dreams to reality. Consequentially, at thebeginning of the story, Jay is very skeptical on how he portrayshimself. He wants to appear to people the way he desires. As such, hehas a talent for self-invention (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).This talent is a great asset in painting his quality of greatness.Evidently, he gives the book its title. As the author deconstructsJay, he reveals himself to be innocent and hopeful. He will doanything to make sure that his dream remains a reality. The manner inwhich he portrays, Daisy goes beyond human imagination. Additionally,he portrays her as a perfect person and demonstrates very passionatezeal of pursuing her. Nonetheless, a person cannot attain suchperfection. He is blinded to the extent that he cannot see herlimitations (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).

Asthe book progresses, Jay’s dreams of Daisy disintegrate. The authoruses this as symbolism. He reveals how corruption is a child ofwealth and the unworthiness of Jay’s goals (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).The author is hiding the intended meaning as he wants to demonstratehow the American dream was going to crumble in the 1920s. This wasbefore the wake of America`s great optimism, vitality andindividualism became coagulated to the noble pursuit of wealth. Jayand Nick are created in contrast to each other (Fitzgerald,Bowers &amp Bruccoli, 2006).Critics do not fail to emphasize that the former is passionate andactive while the latter is sober and reflective. On the other side,Tom is characterized by being a cold-hearted and aristocratic bully.He is compared to Jay who is characterized by loyalty and being goodat heart. Jay is also contrasted with Wilson where their attitudesdiffer significantly. They share a common factor when they both losetheir love to Tom

SinceNick rented an apartment near Jay’s home, they became friends. Theauthor continues with his aura of using symbolism. At that moment,Jay can be described as sociable. During this time, the America wasat war with other nations. Nonetheless, America used its tactics infurthering the objectives of the American dream. Jay would makefriendship with people that he though added value to his life.Symbolism emerges where this kind of strategy is symbolized byAmerica where it woos nations it has interests. Just like theAmerican dream, Jay told lies to maintain a certain personality hehad invented.


Throughoutthe novel, Gatsby actual past remains a mystery that no one can tell.His love for Daisy is so blinding to the point that he takes blamesfor her mistake. This is evidenced when they were driving together,and they hit Myrtle`s causing her instant death. Instead, Daisy andTom leave town leaving Jay the only one to bear the cross forMyrtle`s death. He seems to become depressed and later dies. This wasalso a symbol of the crumbling of the American dream.


Fitzgerald,F. S., Bowers, F., &amp Bruccoli, M. J. (2006).Thegreat Gatsby.Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.