Gatsby Narcissistic Analysis

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In The Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby, is often associated with his flamboyant parties, wealth, and the style of the 1920s that is vividly depicted throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing. While Fitzgerald vibrantly illustrates Gatsby as a hopeless romantic, it can, and has been, argued that Jay Gatsby is a comical character with narcissistic tendencies as well. In “Gatsby Is a Classic Romantic” by Robert Ornstein, the author begins by analyzing Jay Gatsby’s “...unending quest of the romantic dream, which is forever betrayed in fact yet redeemed in men’s minds” (Ornstein 34). By stating this, Ornstein has begun to not only analyze Gatsby’s tendency to only see the facts as he wishes to, but he also touches on and summarizes…show more content…
Such is the case in “Gatsby is a Pathological Narcissist” by Giles Mitchell, who argues this point, especially in relation to how Gatsby acts towards Daisy. Mitchell claims that, “There is no evidence in the novel that Gatsby feels any moral conflict about urging Daisy to marry him— to marry into a life supported by criminal activities” (Mitchell 63). While Gatsby does wrongly force Daisy into admitting she loves only him and chooses to keep his personal affairs quiet, Gatsby’s clandestineness can be justified and his remorse is seen when Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby is involved in illegal activities. Gatsby quickly becomes angry with Tom, but shortly after shows that he cares about Daisy’s opinion by apologizing and trying to defend himself. “He looked… as if he had ‘killed a man.’ For a moment the set of his face could be described in just that fantastic way. It passed, and he began to talk excitedly to Daisy, denying everything, defending his name against accusations that had not been made” (Fitzgerald 134). In Nick’s recount of the incident, Fitzgerald’s audience experiences the regret that Gatsby felt after Daisy found out the truth.Mitchell also takes note of Gatsby’s lack of openness with Daisy, stating that, “If he loved her, he would want intimacy with her; but intimacy means knowing and being known, and Gatsby does not want Daisy to know him” (Mitchell 65). Similarly to the revealing of the criminal activities that Gatsby was involved in, Gatsby’s lack of “intimacy” can be reasoned with possible embarrassment, shame, and even worry that Daisy will no longer love him is she finds out information about him and his past. While it seems that Gatsby is considerably concerned with Daisy’s opinion, which can arguably be said to be because “He projects onto her a kind of royal status” (Mitchell 64) and thinks highly of her, the same
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