Discuss Gatsby the character.What are the characteristics of Gatsby?

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drgingerbear eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jay Gatsby is a primary character in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s parents were very poor and Gatsby never accepted his parents or his life as a child. Gatsby is always after the “American Dream”. He went to a small college and worked as a janitor to pay for college but “befriends” Dan Cody who is wealthy. Dan shows Gatsby the “good life” and Gatsby’s life is transformed from that point on.

His character is “obsessive”. He becomes obsessed with money, power, and fame. This is demonstrated by his preoccupation with Daisy, a young, beautiful socialite. His sole reason for living is wrapped up in this young woman. However, he finds himself at war and when he returns, she is married. However, his obsession does not end. After graduating from College at Oxford, his obsession with money and “competing” for Daisy’s affection, he turns to a drug ring for income.

This obsessiveness turns into excess… he throws wild parties and spends lavishly. However, the end of the book reveals that through his obsessiveness and excessive behavior, he is really insecure.

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The Great Gatsby

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