The Great Gatsby Identity Analysis

1378 Words6 Pages
DEVELOPMENT II By creating his own identity, Gatsby was a self made man. He became what he wanted to be, and achieved this by himself. He succeeded in changing the course of his life; being born into poverty, he forged his way to wealth and prosperity. It seems like creating one’s own identity is a wonderful thing, however at what cost does this new identity come? Although one can change one’s lot in life by moving to better locations, this comes at the cost of cutting the ties with one’s roots. When Gatsby left North Dakota, he not only cut his ties with the land that he lived on, but also with all the people and places with which he identified himself when he was a child. When leaving home, he not only left the house…show more content…
For example, Gatsby did not care that Daisy was already married and had a child. Since everything was ordered toward himself, he had the right to get Daisy just because he wanted her. The reason Jay Gatsby lived in this disconnected way resulted from his mentality of individualism. Individualism is pervades American society as a result of democracy. Each man considers himself the center of the universe and equal with everyone else. Individualism causes people to see themselves as autonomous and neither dependent upon nor connected to those around themselves. In American culture, this individualistic mentality is held up as an ideal. America extols the self-made man, because he is an individual and need not look to anyone except himself. Gatsby lived the ideal American individualistic life which caused him to loose touch with his human nature. Pieper says that man’s nature is to be in harmony with oneself and the whole world. For there to be harmony between oneself and the whole world, one must see the natural connection between himself and other people, and likewise with plants and animals. Individualism made this harmony impossible, and as a result Gatsby never reached fulfillment from following his self-made…show more content…
The story of Gatsby is repeated over and over in the lives of many Americans who strive to make their own identity. America is truly a land of opportunity, but the wealth and resources found in America must be used in accordance with human nature. Just because the opportunity is available for a man to abandon his family and social roots and make his own life on the opposite side of the country, does not mean that this will lead to fulfillment and happiness. Americans must discover their own connectedness to others around them. They must learn that human nature is not something to be fabricated by each individual, but is something common to all men which binds them together. The Gatsby-like life, although seemingly exciting and thrilling, leaves the human person impoverished. Although man may try to invent his own identity, he will never have harmony with himself and with others unless he accepts what and who he already

More about The Great Gatsby Identity Analysis

Open Document