In The Great Gatsby, what are Gatsby's two possible characterizations?

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The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous 1925 examination of prohibition-era decadence.

Gatsby, the title character, has many possible interpretations, but two lend themselves to deep critique:

  1. Gatsby is a deeply emotional man who seeks to succeed to prove his love for Daisy
  2. Gatsby is a deeply selfish man who seeks to succeed only to show off to others

The first interpretation is probably the most accepted version of Gatsby; he is seen throughout the novel to be personally interested in Daisy and desperate to win her approval.

He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.

It can be argued that...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 486 words.)

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