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In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald presents a modern "Byronic Hero" in Jay Gatsby who is, like his predecessor, "mad, bad, and dangerous to know."
Like Byron, Gatsby is a "common man" rebel who seems to sacrifice himself, rather stubbornly, for his romantic ideals. Gatsby goes against the East Coast, established rich values of the Yale boys like Tom Buchanan. Instead, Gastby is a self-made man who champions middle-class values, military service, and unscrupulous means of acquiring wealth.
Like Byron, Gatsby is a man of mystery: he rarely attends his own parties; he has no family, no past; his origins (place of birth) are unknown. Gatsby has taken on a persona in order to reinvent himself, just like the poet Byron does in his poetry. Both seem to be playing the role of a their own romantic alter-egos. This role-playing is both an act of denial and a stroke of individuality.
Like Byron, Gatsby is a soldier who fought in a war but was, ironically, wounded by love more than combat. Byron fought for Greece in their war of independence, and Gatsby fought for the U.S. in World War I. Both exiled themselves from home in order to fight, and they both tried to return home and reclaim a past love that was forever changed. These wounds of love are both the cause of their passionate loves and tragic deaths.
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