The Great Gatsby Portfolio Project

By: Teia Hudson

Psychoanalysis Writing Response

"Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it." --Judy Blume The Great Gatsby is a timeless piece of literary fiction from the 1920’s. Throughout the book, the reader may question certain actions in the book and wonder how they can be analyzed. A character's behavior, narrative events, and/or images can be explained in terms of psychoanalytic concepts of any kind by using psychoanalytic behaviors, such as stress and hyperactivity, to determine Gatsby's motives.

An observation of Gatsby's behaviors in chapter 5 demonstrates his feelings towards Daisy. Within this close analysis, we use psychoanalysis theory, more specifically, hyperactivity, to name his behaviors and speech. His behavior can be explained by identifying forms for defense mechanisms he uses. As claimed by Gatsby,“This is a terrible mistake,”...”a terrible, terrible mistake.” Pg. 87. This quote is an example of denial, due to him refusing to believe that his date with Daisy was going well. This indicates that Mr. Gastby truly cares for Daisy, and wants the best for all things regarding her.

With psychoanalysis, we can use someone's physical behaviors as a primary indicator of Gatby's emotions. In chapter 5, Gatsby's body language tends to give the reader more context than his words do. As claimed by Nick, “Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged… into my eyes.” Pg. 86. This quote is an example of repression, as Gatsby is trying not to believe the worst in this situation. This tells us that Mr. Gatsby has chosen to deal with his hidden anxiety by showing his panic while alone.

Taking both defense mechanisms into consideration, psychoanalysis can be explained as a primary indicator by examining a character's behavior, which can give the reader insight into a character's true intentions.

Dear Society

Dear Society,

Why do I have to be in your image?

What’s wrong with the way I am?

Why is it that “I’m a young black woman that isn’t according to plan?”

Oh, she’s smart, she’s not like the others

I’m justified as “black” because African-American men are shooting their brothers

It’s hard to make myself stand out in a crowd full of white kids that shout

“I’m not that rich”

The money fixes their problems,

But what about me?

A minority

I have little sense of security

I’m competing with the superiority

Because I’m black.

Do my looks bother you?

My skin caramel rich
Eyes are honey-dipped

I’m educated so it makes your skin itch

And yet…

I’m still an outcast

And If I proceed to be the last

Of my kind

Will it make it alright?

If I were to

Buy a house I could potentially own

Don’t forget the few loans

Marry an educated black man that loves me for who I am

I bet it’ll put a chill in your bones!
Raise 2.5 kids

Make them open their lids

To be susceptible to the world around them led by you

So that you can put a buying price on them?!

“On that black one, I call dibs!”


But I get it.

This soil swears that its people work for merit

And yet…

Hold on, let me pull out my binoculars

Oh.. what am I looking for you ask?

I can’t find the rewards!

I can’t find what I am working towards.

The American Dream doesn’t work for me on YOUR accords

And to my neck, your people are holding swords

Because I keep asking

“Where’s my fair share?”

And then for a brief moment…

My hand will graze my hair

Then I remember…

It’s because I’m black.

Do you see the issue now?

The issue with being black?

Cops feel threatened even if a black man has his hands behind his back

And it’s whack.

Why should oppression fix a problem the oppressors created?

Do you need it translated?

We sit down, we’re too quiet

We protest, We’re too loud

We stand up, we’re too rebellious

We make a speech, we’re too damn proud

So what the hell is allowed?

It’s because I’m black.

I hope you can see that I’m not some barbie

I’m a young black woman trying to make a change

Just get it into your brains!

That my skin color will be praised someday!
And not just for the thighs

Because the community tells lies that keep me from growing...

But I will arise society

Don’t pity me.

Because I’m black.

Artist Statement

- What are the limits of American opportunity, the idea of the “American Dream” or myth of meritocracy in America?

This poem was actually written with the intent of performing it (Spoken Word Poetry) to add to the sensitivity of being Black in America. This poem means to me that the systems that American has put in place to support the lower class are nonexistent, and continue to leave minorities to scramble for ways to be successful.

I'm hoping that my readers can read this with as much passion as I had when I wrote this. :)

Creative Response #1

Chapters 1-3 | For this creative response, I made Instagram posts based on the character Nick (aka nickthebrick20) to comment on some of the statements in the first three chapters.

Creative Response #2

Chapters 4-6 | For this creative response, I made Instagram posts based on the character Daisy (aka theeladydaisy) to comment on some of the statements in the second three chapters.