WHAT IS THE UNLAYERING OF GATSBY'S CHARACTER? FROM THE BOOK "THE GREAT GATSBY"  

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arbrown09 | (Level 1) eNoter

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The "unlayering" aspect throughout the novel is used to reveal Jay Gatsby's true intentions and motives. Everything he has done in his adult life served 2 purposes: to escape his troubled youth and to capture the woman of his dreams, Daisy. When we first meet Gatsby, he seems to be an upstanding man with high morals and goals. However, as the book progresses, we slowly learn more intimate details that reveal his true character. While he tells everyone he has inherited all of his money, we learn he actually benefited greatly from bootlegging, which was organized crime. We learn that his sole ambition in life is to make enough money to win Daisy, even though she is already married. His blind pursuit of Daisy leads him to childish illusions that he can never really attain. As we the readers learn these intimate details that reveal a darker side to Gatsby, it only heightens our understanding of why he dies in the end. The unlayering process is preparing the reader for his death so that we understand why it happened instead of confusing the reader as to why a good man had to die. 

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