Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Truth Comes Out: Gatsby Chapter 6

After reading this chapter, I had one burning question in mind: is it ever revealed why Gatsby chose to go by the name of “Jay Gatsby”? Obviously, it’s very close to James Gatz, his real name, but I can’t help but wonder why Jay and Gatsby were chosen. I’d predict that Gatsby chose his name solely on the fact that he figured it sounded wealthy and successful to him, but I hope that there is some sort of explanation for it later on in the book. Chapter six included two big events: the reveal of Gatsby’s real background story, and Tom and Daisy attending one of Gatsby’s parties together. An interesting aspect of Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy is that Gatsby doesn’t feel completely content with being with Daisy again. I think part of this is because of Tom, and the fact that Daisy is still married to him doesn’t allow Gatsby to be completely happy with Daisy. Gatsby has been dreaming of the perfect love story with Daisy for years, and Tom is the only person getting in the way of his dream coming true. Nick describes how Gatsby “talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was . . .” (Fitzgerald 117) Ever since Gatsby and Daisy ended their romance five years ago, Gatsby had felt that he was missing something in his life, and that a part of himself went away went Daisy went away. Now that Daisy is back, however, Gatsby is so close to going back to his old self, but Daisy’s marriage to Tom is preventing Gatsby from feeling that his original relationship with Daisy is alive again. How sad! On the subject of Gatsby’s past, I can’t help but wonder if Gatsby had maintained contact with any family after he left home and became successful. Talking about how Gatsby had changed his name to Jay Gatsby, Nick mentions that he “supposed [Gatsby] had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people--his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all” (Fitzgerald 104) Was Gatsby really that unhappy with his lifestyle that he didn’t even consider his parents to be his actual parents? I understand that people dream of living lavish and luxurious lifestyles, but it seems that Gatsby was almost embarrassed of his upbringing, and wanted any way out. Could it be because of disagreements with his family, or other family issues? I’m sure we’ll never find out.

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