In what way is Gatsby's uniform an invisible cloak?

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When Gatsby was a soldier, his uniform was just like all the other soldiers. No one could tell his social status because he looked like all the other soldiers. This made his uniform an invisible cloak and hid the fact that he came from a poor background from Daisy, who had been born into a rich family. After the war, it would be apparent that Gatsby was not from the same social class as Daisy because his civilian clothes would not be as expensive as hers. The uniform thus disguised Gatsby's background enough so that she allowed herself to form a real relationship with a man who would generally not have met her standards.

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locksnbagels | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Sabrina-

First of all, thanks for posting, and good luck with Gatsby.

I encourage you to think about the uniforms people wear, their purposes and categories. First, look at them literally. What do they mean, both to the wearer and to those with whom they come in contact? Next, look at the uniforms more figuratively and symbolically. On a deeper level, what do the uniforms mean? Uniforms are powerful in that they can create a mood and can even alter peoples' actions and beliefs. What does Gatsby do in his uniform? What things does he do while 'cloaked' in his uniform? How do his actions and interactions change when he has his uniform on? Start there, then make sure to get a second opinion on any research you do. Good luck, Sabrina!

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locksnbagels | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Oh--one more thing, Sabrina: also consider the disparity (or inconsistency and inner conflict) of the uniform and the person wearing it. A firefighter who smokes, a hangman who has an abiding love for life...that kind of thing.

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dana-bell19 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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Gatsby's uniform is an "invisible cloak" because when he is wearing it, no one can tell anything about him.

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abygirlb | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

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Hey Sabrina,

The reason the Military uniform is like an invisible cloak is because when Gatsby put the outfit on he wasnt seen for who he really was he was seen as a person that Daisy Buchanan could see herself with in the future. But when he takes the uniform off he is seen as just another person.

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