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What is the importance and symbolism of the clothing Jay Gatsby wears in the novel "The...

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pito156 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 22, 2009 at 9:56 AM via web

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What is the importance and symbolism of the clothing Jay Gatsby wears in the novel "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald?

The question would pertain to any clothing Gatsby had in the novel EXCEPT the scene when he shows Nick and Daisy all his shirts.

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 22, 2009 at 10:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Jay Gatsby wore only the best clothes.  He dressed as an aristocrat of the new money.  His choice of clothing and style of dress was symbolic of the over indulgence of the rich during that time and of the American Dream. The idea that you could become rich, successful and indulgent no matter what you came from.   Jay's reason for the style of dress and the expense of the clothing is to impress Daisy.  Everything he did was to impress and regain the love of Daisy.  His life and dreams centered around his desire and love of Daisy and the clothing is yet another outward expression of that goal.  The self-centered desires of the rich was a central theme of Fitzgerald's stories and novels and "The Great Gatsby" was one of the best of these stories.

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hsengtch | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2009 at 11:11 AM (Answer #2)

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Daisy is often dressed in white, to symbolize her innocence/naive nature, possibly purity (childlike qualities).

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