The Sense Of Self In The Great Gatsby

1037 Words5 Pages
‘A Sense of Self’ Essay A Sense of Self is a unique quality that differs from one person to another and yet may involve multiple identities. Explore the extent to which the protagonists in the texts you have studied appear to possess one or more identities. Refer closely to the texts in developing your response. This essay will revolve around four main texts, namely ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘New Selected Poems’ and ‘The Lost Continent’ by Scott Fitzgerald, William Shakespeare, Carol Ann Duffy and Bill Bryson respectively. ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a highly symbolic meditation of America in the 1920s. An era of decayed social and moral values imbued in reckless extravagance, Fitzgerald hence conveys the ultimate corruption of the…show more content…
The eponymous character was born the day he met Dan Cody and invented himself a new life. Ultimately, Gatsby created and fabricated his own ideal ‘identity’ to meet his expectations: “The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his platonic conception of himself […] so he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year- old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.” Two identities therefore arise: Jay Gatsby and James Gatz. Yet one can almost see the threads of James Gatz behind the Gatsby facade. With Daisy, Gatsby loses the carefully constructed identity: he reverts to the young soul seeking for his place in the world, with “a touch of panic” in his voice when he realises that Daisy has “slipped away [and become something] no longer tangible”. In this way we can identify the importance of society and expectations in the portrayal of the different identities. To illustrate one more example, there is the case of Myrtle, leading on to the importance of clothing in the portrayal of these identities. Nick Carraway notes that “under the influence of the dress, her personality had also undergone a change”. Through clothing, Myrtle obtains the tools to change her identity, hence expressing a different identity to achieve the ultimate purpose of ‘belonging’ to the
Open Document