The Great Gatsby
Character project on Gatsby - by Will Atkiels
Gatsby's Dream - Success or Love
Gatsby really had the a rough time growing up. When he was a young man, he longed to be successful and rich like Don Cody, whom he met when he saw "Don Cody's yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior"(p.98). Until he met Daisy, that was his only dream. But soon after, he realized he also wanted to find real love in his life. At the time he had made the decision that his love should be Daisy. He was so in love that he dreamt of scenarios of them such as:"One autumn night...as Daisy's white face came up to his own(p.110). He had always wished that all of his dreams had been real. after the war he wanted to meet Daisy but couldn't since she was now married to Tom. However, he never wanted to lose sight of Daisy so "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay"(p.78). From here he saw the green light of the light tower. To him, this was like looking at her from a distance. It gave him hope that he would be able to meet her.
Cost of his big dreams
Gatsby has spent much physically and emotionally to try and achieve his dream. Every single party that he has at his house cost a lot of money. And he has parties almost every night in the summer. He spends so much money on his parties because "I think he half expects her to wander into one of his parties, some night, went on Jordan, but she never did"(p.39). That has to be a big disappointment to him. He has also been waiting 5 years already to meet her. This time has made him very desperate, which is shown by the quote:"He's afraid, he's waited so long"(p.74). Because of all this time, he is in somewhat of a wreck. We first see his anxiety and nervousness when he re-enters the house while Daisy visits, because he tells Nick:",Oh, God!, in a miserable way, This is a terrible mistake,"(p.87). His costs have truly been enormous.
He pays so much money for all of his parties, which he has almost every week.
He has waited five years to meet Daisy.
He seems almost depressed while waiting for Daisy.
Symbol that represents Gatsby
Ever since the car was invented, it has been a symbol of wealth. Back then, if someone owned a car they were rich. Now there are specific cars that show wealth, such as a Corvette or a Lamborghini. During the prohibition times, the time of this book, a car like Gatsby's would definitely show off his enormous wealth. His car was:"a rich cream color, bright with nickel...we started to town"(p.64). This quote not only describes Gatsby's extensive car, but shows he really does have so much money. Tom and Daisy are rich but do not flaunt it as Gatsby does. Their car is explained only as a:"white roadster"(p.74) because they do not waste their money on an expensive car, showing they are wealthy, but not insanely wealthy. Another person whose wealth is described by a car: George Wilson. The car in his garage is described to be a "dust-covered wreck of a Ford which crouched in a dim corner"(p.25). The car may or may not be his, but in the condition given, we see his wealth, if he has any. Being a car mechanic, he should not have a wrecked car in his garage. But he is simply to poor to repair it. The symbol of an automobile can easily be used to describe almost anyone's wealth, whether in this book or in real life.
Attributes of Gatsby
Gatsby could arguably be the most complex character in this novel. He has many different sides to his personality. Right from the start of the novel he is perceived to be very suspicious and mysterious. This feeling of suspicion is later on reimbursed when we find out that one of his friends is a man named Meyer Wolfsheim who is recognized as "the man who fixed the world series of 1919"(p.73). Why would Gatsby have friends of such types. Another side of his personality is the formal and polite part. Once we get to know Gatsby in the novel, he takes on this personality for a while. This part of him is most accurately portrayed at the party scene, being the only one there that doesn't drink any alcohol. Also whenever he meets with Nick he dons this personality. The last of his personalities is revealed towards the end of the book. This is his cocky rich person attitude. It could also be called a show-off attitude. This comes out when he meets Daisy. All he cares about is him and her together. He is rude to his butler in the piano room by telling him ",Don't talk so much, old sport, commanded Gatsby, Play,!"(p.95). He blocks out everyone else and seems to be daydreaming, making him angry toward those who disturb him. He really lets out the show-off within him when Daisy is fascinated by all his shirts. He brags about them by commenting ",I've got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall"(p.92). This really points out the show-off within if he has to brag about something as petty as his shirts.
Golden man with a Silver lining
Colors in literature really can symbolize what a persons values are. Gatsby can be symbolized with two colors: Gold and Silver. The gold comes from his wealth and success. He has been in many different businesses, as he says in the novel(p.90). He owns a massive mansion right at the bay. He has the money to host the most grand of parties all the time. He owns a very expensive and very extensive car. He can afford himself almost anything he wants. But he has a silver lining. Not a bright and expensive looking silver, but a very dirty and dull silver. This color represents his other more mysterious past. He made most of his money off of drug stores where he sold alcohol. But during the time of the prohibition, this was illegal. So technically he is a criminal. And he does hang around Wolfsheim, also a criminal. This dirty silver represents the part of him even he would never want to admit he was a part of.
Fitzgerald, Frances Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.