The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the difference between Gatsby's portrayal of himself and how he is viewed by others in The Great Gatsby?

The difference between Gatsby's portrayal of himself and how he is viewed by others is that he likes to pretend that he's a well-educated blue blood, whereas others see him as a nouveau-riche arriviste. It doesn't matter how wealthy Jay is, how big his mansion is, or how pretty his shirts are, he'll always be new money and will never find social acceptance among the old money elite.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,189 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Jay Gatsby portrays himself as an Oxford-educated gentleman who hails from a wealthy family and has traveled the world. Jay Gatsby not only dresses like a wealthy aristocrat but also carries himself with a graceful manner and frequently uses the term "old sport." Gatsby also lives in a magnificent mansion in West Egg and throws extravagant parties in hopes of one day reuniting with Daisy Buchanan. He goes to great lengths to persuade others that he is an established gentleman and even attempts to convince Nick that he inherited his wealth and lived like a "young rajah" before WWI.

Despite Gatsby's mannerisms, appearance, and personality, other people do not view him as an established, educated gentleman. For example, Jordan Baker tells Nick that she could tell Gatsby was lying about being an Oxford graduate. Nick also finds Gatsby's background stories quite unbelievable and struggles to suppress his laughter. The guests at Gatsby's parties also view him differently than he sees himself. They...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 927 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,188 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Christine MacEachern eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write97 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial