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Gatsby and his mask - Essay Example

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Everybody wears mask. We tend to be an amalgamation of different versions of ourselves that vary in different situations, time and in front of different people…
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Gatsby and his mask
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Gatsby and his mask

We may not want to admit it but we are different in one way or another at times. We could be the obedient and hardworking son or daughter to our parents, the witty or adventurous person with our friends, or the caring and understanding individual in a romantic relationship. James Gatz realized after desperately losing his greatest love to someone well-off with a notable pedigree that he needed to be someone else, someone other than himself. He wanted to be accepted by Daisy Fay and to be taken seriously as someone worthy to be her better half. Someone better than whom he truly is in the name of the famous (or rather infamous) Jay Gatsby. It had been necessary for him to put on a mask and carry on an alternate reality just to be able to move in the same circles as her. These efforts are all in the plot to gain Daisy’s attention as he became fixated to the idea of a life he was supposed to live with her. Nick was a pawn in all of the games that he played and their first extensive personal conversation revealed the flaws in the lies that Gatsby has weaved to convince people of his affluence. He had been seemingly consistent in his stories but Nick had been a good judge of character in taking things with a grain of salt and relating to the reader that Gatsby was by no means a great man but there is always more to his stories and the truth reveals itself almost anti-climactically in the end. Their meeting that morning in July revealed more to Gatsby and how the audience starts to perceive him as a character. There had been plenty of gossips and assumptions as to who the man who threw extravagant parties is and as to where he came from. In this scene Gatsby himself seem to divulge more about himself. But just like Nick the reader has to read between the lines and comprehend the context accordingly. The car parked in front of Nick’s door and he jumped right in, much like the heightened anticipation the reader has into wanting to know more about this man in order to understand him. Lurching forward and not caring whatever comes next so long as the enigma somehow reveals himself more. Gatsby starts off the conversation too fittingly by asking “What’s your opinion of me, anyhow?” (Fitzgerald 70). This signifies the persona’s great regard for what people think of him. He is careful to form a perception in people’s minds of who he is and he wants them to regard him in high esteem. This question consequently took Nick for quite a surprise though it did not entirely rattle him as he knew that Gatsby must also be aware of the ideas floating around about him. Then Gatsby went on to tell about his past. That he was the son of a wealthy family from the Midwest, San Francisco to be exact and that his entire family had died already. This led him to a journey in different parts of the world and then off to war where he claimed he intended to die. These stories complete with embellishments in how he tells his stories and complete with evidence through articles such as a medal of valor and a photograph from Oxford with his contemporaries. Nick took this all with some sense of doubt realizing what Jordan first found to be insincerities. “He hurried the phrase ‘educated at Oxford,’ or swallowed it or choked on it as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubt his whole statement fell to pieces and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him after all” (ibid). The study in the syntax and the intonation of Gatsby gives a deeper understanding on what Nick had established early on in his narration, that he is a good judge of character by not forthrightly concluding on their personalities and trying to understand where they are coming from. This is something which is almost ... Read More
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