Essay about The Design of Jay Gatsby

Submitted By swiggerswaggerjim
Words: 1649
Pages: 7

Camille Warden
Mrs. Cole
4/9/13
PDP English II
Gatsby Final Essay

“’Her voice is full of money,’ He said suddenly.” (120)
The Design of Jay Gatsby

If you were to ask someone about the character Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, they will probably describe him similarly to the fashion that the book’s narrator Nick does. He is perceived as a kind, generous, and down to earth man amongst the cutthroat wealthy elite. They may criticize Daisy portraying her as being the cruel temptress who brought him to his doom, or they might see Gatsby and Daisy’s love as immortal comparing the two to Romeo and Juliet. Gatsby on the other hand you will rarely ever hear being demonized. He is seen as mysterious, sad, romantic, and strange, but never overbearing or sexist. He is far from the worst character in the novel and may still be the most generous one in spite of his ambition tainted love, but he shouldn’t be impervious to critique since his mindset is widely prevalent in society and quite harmful if not checked. Through the chosen quote, Fitzgerald reveals the inherent materialism of Gatsby’s love for Daisy, illustrating the dehumanizing effect of female objectification by men. When all five main characters swarm frenetically around Tom’s house then decide to go to town in a desperate attempt to break the unspoken stalemate between Daisy’s husband and lover, Nick postulates that her husband Tom already knows about the affair because Daisy has “got an indiscreet voice,… full of” (120) something to which Gatsby responds “Her voice is full of money.” (120) The exchange is brief and Nick quickly covers up the response by going into detail about the beauty of ancient treasure and pirate’s gold but the line and its delivery shows that Gatsby is perpetuating the objectification of women even while he is simultaneously lauded by Nick for his seeming anti-materialism. He doesn’t talk about her directly instead saying “her voice” referring the statement of value to an attribute of hers that is not within her control. It is also “full of” which is passive and implies a vulnerability since it is filled and incapable of holding anything else, thus he redirects agency to her attributes rather than herself, then removes it all together. In addition Nick claims he “said [it] suddenly” he has deliberated for some time and in his mind pinned down the elusive tone of her voice which has for almost five years been synonymous with financial success to him. Of course the most glaring feature of the quote is the fact that Gatsby compare Daisy’s voice to money showing that all the natural beauty and charm of her most enticing aspect has been and always will be associated with her monetary prowess. The female element of American Dream has no right to refuse her position on the shrine of Liberty thus in Gatsby’s approach to regaining Daisy he assumes that once she sees his grand plan for their lives she will give up her agency to him. He is not cruel or psychopathic, but his design comes before his personal relations, which is why he uses Jordan to use Nick to use Daisy to complete the “incarnation” (111) of his fantasy. When Nick and Jordan are finally alone together she tells him Gatsby wants him to invite Daisy over because “He wants her to see his house,’ and Nick’s “house is right next door.” (79) Afterward Nick seems a little disappointed but because the charade is a seemingly good cause of reuniting long lost lovers he lets it slip. Gatsby wants Daisy to see his house because as the fleshly incarnation of his dream she values the same things he values and his house is his evidence to her that an earthly manifestation of their fantasies is possible. And incarnation is the embodiment of the ethereal, supernatural, and Godly but like a dream it ceases to be extraordinary as soon as it comes to fruition thus incarnation is impossible along with his design. When all three of them are at Nick’s small house everyone is…