Give two points about how one symbol or character in The Great Gatsby is a reflection of the author himself or of the jazz age.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Sure!  However, I hope you don't mind if I give more than "two points."  Ha!  I truly believe that Gatsby, himself, is a symbol of Fitzgerald.  In fact, I'll go even further and insist Gatsby is so similar to Fitzgerald that they seem to be one and the same person.  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald had some aspect of their lives that bonded them to people without breeding (Gatsby grew up poor; Fitzgerald was part "black Irish").  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald fell in love with a very rich young lady (Gatsby's was Daisy Buchanan; Fitzgerald's was Zelda Sayer).  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald became obsessed with that same young lady and remained obsessed for the rest of their lives.  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald tried to gain fame and fortune to win the heart of their lady (Gatsby through bootlegging; Fitzgerald through writing).  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald were known for their lavish parties.  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald would have been considered "West Eggers" in that they were not "old money."  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald lived on Long Island during the most significant times in their lives.  Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald died forgotten (Gatsby's funeral was unattended; Fitzgerald's literary career hadn't taken off).  Ironically, the most obvious example that this similarity is a reality, however, comes from the dedication of The Great Gastby itself:  "Once Again To Zelda."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team