How Characters Change – Jay Gatsby

Describe three key characters and explain how they change throughout the novel.

Jay Gatsby – Gatsby is a young wealthy man living in an extravagant mansion in West egg. He is known all around the New York area for his lavish parties that are thrown weekly, this is all the information that the public  really know about Gatsby. “Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.”, “it’s more that he was a German spy during the war.” At one of Gatsby’s parties, the party goers say these things that have been speculated about Gatsby. No one knows where he came from, what he does or how he came to his fortune. At the start of the novel Gatsby comes across as a very well mannered, wealthy man. But throughout the book we see Gatsby character slowly unravel, he loses his calm superior persona and see him turn into a desperate rattled character. The reason for this is Daisy. Gatsby has worked his whole life to become a wealthy, statused man because in his opinion this will win Daisy back. Gatsby first met Daisy when he was going off to war, At this time Gatsby was poor and since Daisy came from a prestigious family Gatsby didn’t have a chance at being Daisys significant other. Once Gatsby left for war Daisy didn’t wait long before she moved on to her now husband Tom Buchanan who fit the standards set by those around Daisy. During the 5 years that Daisy and Gatsby spent without contact, Gatsby did everything he could to make him reach Daisys standards. He organised criminal activity which earned him his fortune and built up an image which made him fit in with the other ‘rich bootleggers in West egg’ and created a status so everyone would now who the ‘Great Jay Gatsby’ was in hope of reconnecting with Daisy. Once he finally reconnects with Daisy the plan he had been creating for 5 years was not going as he had wanted and he couldn’t rap his head around why things weren’t. “He (Gatsby) wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken.”. He was so fixated on the plan he couldn’t see that it was unrealistic and throughout the book it only becomes more achievable. “Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now – isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once – but I loved you too.” This shows us that even in that small space of time when he did have Daisy, it wasn’t enough to make him forget what has gone on in their five years apart.

One Comment

  1. Hey Milly,

    You have really understood Gatsby’s character and you have voiced a clear opinion of him.

    Make sure you have quotations from the text to support your observations. At the moment, I can see one quote from the book. In a paragraph this size, you should look for at least two other places where you think a quotation would strengthen the point you are making about the character.

    Mrs. P


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