Jay Gatsby ( James Gatz)
Gatsby is both the novel’s title character and its protagonist. Gatsby is a mysterious, fantastically wealthy young man. He lives in a Gothic mansion in West Egg, where every Saturday his mansion serves as the site of extravagant parties. Until Nick, no one knows where he came from, what he does or how he made his fortune. Later in the novel, Nick learns that his real name is James Gatz; he was born in North Dakota to an impoverished farming family. Which made him dedicate his life to the achievement of wealth.
He was training to be an officer in Louisville and while serving in the Army in World War I, Gatsby met Daisy Fay (now Daisy Buchanan) and fell passionately in love with her. Nick also learns that Gatsby made his fortune through criminal activity, as he was willing to do anything to gain the social position (he thought it was necessary to win Daisy over).
Nick views Gatsby as a deeply flawed man, dishonest and vulgar, whose extraordinary optimism and power, which allowed to transform his dreams into reality. Nick became very close with Gatsby and was very close friends with him at the time of his death and was one of Gatsby’s only friends .
‘If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.’
‘Fix everything just the way it was before’
‘He hurried the phrase ‘educated at Oxford,’ or swallowed it, or choked on it, as though it had bothered him now. And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him, after all.’
‘It was testimony to the romantic speculation [Gatsby] inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world.’
‘I was looking at an elegant young roughneck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.’
‘[Gatsby] must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.’
‘It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy—it increased her value in his eyes.’
‘There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion’