English 10 Core 1
23 May 2014
The image of Gatsby is created by the society of the 20’s and in reality only remains in name. The man known as the “Great” Gatsby is just simply James Gatz. Gatsby is seen as a God of West Egg, but as the novel progresses he is revealed to be a lonely man who is desperate for Daisy. The pure name of Gatsby symbolizes the glory and wealth while all of his parties and wealth covers his true identity. The eventual death of the imagined Jay Gatsby is followed by the physical death of the man James Gatz. F. Scott Fitzgerald shows in his novel The Great Gatsby that the imagination of other people shapes how reality is viewed through the symbolism of Gatsby and his actions throughout the book.
As the humble man James Gatz transforms into Jay Gatsby, he represents wealth and rumors. Gatsby created an imagination of how Daisy wanted him to be, and how his life should be, so he attempts to make his imagination reality. Gatsby creates a mystery and no one knows who he really is. Rumors circulate around at Gatsby’s parties as they gather around and murmur, “`Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.` A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly” (Fitzgerald 48). The imagination of other people helps create an entire life for James Gatz turning into Gatsby to the point that everyone accepts them as true. They choose the rumors that they want to believe in and the imagination takes over reality. As Nick learns more about Gatsby, the rumors appear more evident that they are formed from the wild imagination of surrounding people. The idea of Gatsby begins to bleed into becoming James Gatz again. As Gatsby meets with Daisy, the awkwardness engulfs the room; “Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of [Gatsby’s] head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers and set it back in place” (Fitzgerald 86). It is James Gatz that talks to Daisy in this moment, not Gatsby. He struggles to talk to Daisy, when the suave Gatsby would have no problem with this. James Gatz created an image of himself and his own imagination became a reality for a small moment in time. Eventually reality had to come back, and with that James Gatz would reappear, as he does with Daisy. In reality Gatsby is a regular man who goes into desperate measures to get the girl that he loves. However, the imagination shapes Gatsby and seems to give truth to lies, to the point where people around him accepted it as fact.
Jay Gatsby’s wealth existed only in physical form, as Gatsby is not rich, he is just a man with a lot of money. Gatsby creates an intricate story of how he got his wealth, and the imagination becomes somewhat of a reality for him. Gatsby would never admit to Daisy that he is not truly how he was perceived. His wealth symbolizes his internal conflict and his mask. As Gatsby shows off his wealth, “He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel” (Fitzgerald 92). Gatsby lives in such wealth that it takes him away from who he really is, and what the real issues are. This causes Gatsby to think that he can get anything he wants, and do anything he wants, which is shown when he tries to get Daisy back. Gatsby uses his imagination to force Daisy back. He thinks that he knows, what she wants, but in reality, he has no idea. Gatsby desperately tries to remain the one for Daisy and yells at Nick, “`I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,` he said nodding determinedly, `She’ll see`” (Fitzgerald 110). Gatsby has imagined himself as able to do anything, but deep inside his heart, he knows the reality of the situation. Gatsby will never get Daisy back, and he will never be able to repeat the past. Gatsby remembers the past as so amazing, and he tries desperately to hold on to it. The imagination of Gatsby goes too…