Religious Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Religious Characters in The Great Gatsby
Religious people follow certain doctrines and ethics to help prevent followers from sinning and illustrating the actions of characters in The Great Gatsby. During The Great Gatsby, most of the characters relish in partying, excessive drinking, cheating, and lying. Therefore, The Great Gatsby is a novel that most readers would not associate with religion; however, research shows there is in fact religious symbolism reflected in several of the novel’s characters. The novel exposes the unpredicted, riveting correlation between the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, and Jesus Christ. In chapter six of The Great Gatsby, Nick describes Gatsby by saying, “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang
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Nick says, “Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete” (Fitzgerald, 111). As soon as Gatsby and Daisy kiss, Gatsby’s “New Testament” begins. At this moment, Gatsby is incarnated, and he becomes determined to obtain wealth to redeem himself for Daisy. In The Bible, the New Testament began when Jesus was incarnated. Jesus Christ adopted his new figure in order to redeem mankind. According to The Passion of Gatsby: Evocation of Jesus in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, “Gatsby evokes Jesus carrying his cross” (Dilworth, 1). On the last day of Gatsby’s life, he “stopped for a pneumatic mattress…. And the chauffeur helped him pump it up” (Fitzgerald, 161) Gatsby then “shouldered the mattress” and headed to his swimming pool. The way Gatsby “shouldered” the mattress is similar to the way Jesus Christ carried the cross over his shoulder. On Gatsby's way to the pool, “he stopped and shifted it a little, and the chauffeur asked him if he needed help, but he shook his head” (161). According to The Passion of Gatsby…, “The chauffeur is a would-be Simon of Cyrene, who, for a while, carries Jesus’s cross for him” (Matthew 27:32)(Dilworth, 1). As

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