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View Full Version : The Great Gatsby Appearance Vs. Reality



llama3ater
01-25-2007, 09:33 AM
Im doing a paper on appearance vs. reality shown in the great gatsby....i just wanted some input from fellow readers please...


thanks

darkmage2003
01-31-2007, 01:36 AM
Gatsby is a completely unrealistic man. He believes in the fact that he can even repeat/change the past, although he realizes later that he can't when he sees Daisy's child.

I have a question too. Is the "Valley of Ashes" an industrial area? I can't really seem to figure it out.

kelby_lake
05-07-2008, 02:00 PM
yeah, the 'valley of ashes' is a sort of wastelandy, run-down part of the place. The slums, if you like.

alyssaleeeeeeee
01-31-2009, 01:59 AM
Appearance vs. Reality, to me, would be VERRRY important in analyzing the Gatsby character. I'm not sure where this quote is, but I know it's in the chapter where Nick is telling about Gatsby's past as James Gatz. It describes him as becoming this "Platonic conception of himself." That is to say, the persona of Jay Gatsby has become his self, his identity, not just a facade. The following questions present themselves: Is Jay Gatsby the image he carves out for himself and imposes upon the East and West Egg societies, or is Jay Gatsby his true self? Is it a false show or has he really become this persona? He appears to be rich and successful and a member of the elite: is this just appearance or actually reality? I could contend that it is both. That James Gatz does really BECOME Jay Gatsby.

Think about Gatsby's character. He drives for his dreams, he lives for the future and he embraces the past. He is the type who believes in all the options and the possibilities and he strives to reach them. He doesn't give up and he's always trying to remake himself. Thus, Jay Gatsby - appearance? or reality?

Don't really know if that made sense. :)

mono
01-31-2009, 03:38 PM
Appearance vs. Reality, to me, would be VERRRY important in analyzing the Gatsby character. I'm not sure where this quote is, but I know it's in the chapter where Nick is telling about Gatsby's past as James Gatz. It describes him as becoming this "Platonic conception of himself." That is to say, the persona of Jay Gatsby has become his self, his identity, not just a facade. The following questions present themselves: Is Jay Gatsby the image he carves out for himself and imposes upon the East and West Egg societies, or is Jay Gatsby his true self? Is it a false show or has he really become this persona? He appears to be rich and successful and a member of the elite: is this just appearance or actually reality? I could contend that it is both. That James Gatz does really BECOME Jay Gatsby.

Think about Gatsby's character. He drives for his dreams, he lives for the future and he embraces the past. He is the type who believes in all the options and the possibilities and he strives to reach them. He doesn't give up and he's always trying to remake himself. Thus, Jay Gatsby - appearance? or reality?

Don't really know if that made sense. :)
Fascinating analysis, alyssalee, and welcome to the forum. :)
I would not hesitate to say that Jay Gatsby makes one of the greatest deceptive chameleons in literature. Who had such charisma, threw huge parties almost daily, spoke pompously, and made such an impact on nearly everyone he met, even at first? Jay Gatsby or James Gatz?
Difficult to say, he lives a life of illusion, and does it well. Surely, Jay Gatsby will never escape James Gatz, much like one can never deny one's family, his/her roots, but I believe a Gatsby can come out of a Gatz in the same way that Dorian Gray can make immortal years out of a portrait - an entire illusion and almost impenetrable . . . almost.
Though I feel far from an empiricist, the name seems more of an illusion than the character. On judgment, the most proof an individual needs to acknowledge the existence of another person relies primarily on sight and hearing; the name does not appear irrelevant, but if an incognito told us a false name on the street, and we later discover his real name, we would still likely think of him by the former name, because the false person told us the incorrect name, even if we know it as a wrong name; nicknames work in the same way, I think.
Sometimes, we need to almost give ourselves an entirely new identity to think of ourselves as successful, intelligent, charismatic, and interpersonal; so long as we place that shield between our alteregos, others will perceive that mirage, what you desire them to see, too.

Emmy Castrol
03-10-2009, 05:15 AM
Do you think it matters that Gatsby achieved the American dream, not by the business empire he strove to create, but through a chain a drugstores to smuggle through alcohol?

Or is wealth that no matter how it is obtained?

nickname0811
04-22-2009, 01:19 PM
the valley of ashes are located between West egg and New York.
The poor and people who couldnt be accepted by the West egg and East egg lived at the valley of ashes.
The comparison between valley of ashes and East and West egg just criticized how american dream was decayed by moeny.