Monday, April 25, 2016

Gatsby Part 2

So last week I wrote about my wonders and inquiries regarding Mr. Jay Gatsby. Through this week's reading, all my questions are now answered!!!!!!!!!

We learn that though Gatsby initially inherits his wealth, he loses it during the war and rebuilds his wealth through various means after the war. Gatsby's new wealth could be a possibility of why he lives on the less established West Egg. Gatsby also mentions that his inherited wealth comes from San Francisco in the "Middle West"(which in my opinion is just west). His ancestry plays into the juxtaposition between east and west since people from the west tend to have less of the long standing power and tradition of those from the east.
As for Gatsby's interest in Nick, we learn that Gatsby and Daisy were old flames before the war. One reason for Gatsby's eagerness for Nick's friendship could very well be Nick's connection to Daisy.

Today, I want to examine the relationship between Nick and Gatsby through the way they address each other. Last week, I talked about how Gatsby always addresses Nick as "old sport". For a brief recap, Gatsby's use of "old sport" signifies respect and friendliness towards Nick but not in a snobbish way an East Egger would act (cough cough Tom). I noticed that, so far in the novel, Gatsby does not address Nick as "Nick" a single time; he only uses the phrase "old sport". Also, Nick's address to Gatsby as "Gatsby" stood out to me increasingly as I read. Let me explain myself – when Nick narrates, he most often uses people's first names to identify them, for example: Tom, Daisy, etc. Of course he does sometimes address people he doesn't know very well with prefixes and last names, but for someone as "close" to him as Gatsby is, I wonder why it is that he constantly refers to him as "Gatsby" instead of "Jay".

Although I don't have a concrete answer to the questions from above, I do have some speculations. First and foremost, I don't completely believe that Gatsby genuinely wants to build a strong relationship with Nick. Instead, Gatsby probably just uses Nick as a means to get to Daisy. On the other hand, maybe Gatsby cannot build a lasting relationship with Nick because of his background. Gatsby is very secretive about his businesses and responds to Nick with "That's my affair" when Nick asks him. After realizing his rudeness, Gatsby corrects, "Oh, I've been in several things... I was in the drug business and then I was in the oil business. But I'm not in either one now"(Fitzgerald 90). Gatsby's ways of doing business seems to cause him to shift around quite often (drugs to oil to now in a presumably short amount of time), and to build a long relationship with someone under that situation would just hurt both parties because you never know when he might just leave and disappear one day. By never addressing Nick as "Nick", Gatsby draws a line to prevent extreme depth of their friendship.

I realized that he never calls Gatsby "Jay" when Daisy calls Gatsby "Jay" in chapter 5. As to why Nick calls Gatsby, "Gatsby", instead of Jay, I think it goes way back to chapter 1. At the very beginning of the novel, Nick writes: "Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction[dislike for people he met during his time in Long Island]—Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away"(Fitzgerald 2). I think that Gatsby's mystique deeply intrigues Nick, which is why Nick chooses to use Gatsby's last name to address him. Nick personally thinks that he cannot see through Gatsby unlike everyone else around him. The distance created through addressing Gatsby as his last name symbolizes the wall to Gatsby's heart that Nick will probably never break.

As I end here on this note, I'm excited to see what next week's reading will bring to me.

Here's a pic of Tobey Maguire in an editorial and a gentle encounter between Daisy and JAY.

1 comment:

  1. Side note: after last night's reading we now learn that everything in my last paragraph is simply untrue......... If any readers can take that into account that'd be great