Anthropomorphism In Money, Love And Aspiration In The Great Gatsby Essay

1579 WordsMar 31, 20097 Pages
“Money, Love and Aspirations in The Great Gatsby” by Roger Lewis attempts to tour the foundations of the characters in the original text by F. Scott Fitzgerald by replicating Gatsby’s world, and adding to it an anthropomorphic sheen that interrupts the novel’s didactic resonance and disconnects love, money, and aspiration. Lewis tries to argue that many of the characters have a sort of “doubleness” about them, meaning they fit two or more opposing stereotypes. Gatsby can be considered a scoundrel with dirty money and at the same time a helpless romantic, for example—he can aspire for love and money, while the journey for each inhibits the other. He asserts that Gatsby is a man aware of his own “doubleness”; disregarding the fact that Gatsby is, in reality, nothing more than ink on a bound stack of paper. Lewis also claims that, since Gatsby “sprang from his own Platonic conception of himself” (Fitzgerald, 98), Gatsby is “in a paradoxical position” where he “knows everything about [himself] that can be known, and yet the significance of such knowledge is unclear, for no outside contexts exist to create meaning” (47), forcing him to look to the past for purpose. As psychologically and philosophically thought provoking as the idea of Gatsby understanding himself completely except for his life’s purpose is, it is important to remember that Gatsby has no brain. He cannot conceive or know anything that is not explicitly written in the novel. Additionally, this passage, in its complete form, is cluttered with the pronoun “one” and its derivatives, obscuring the logical sequence of Lewis’ argument, and does a gross injustice to the paragraph in The Great Gatsby it analyzes: The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it meant anything, means just that—and he must be

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