Examples Of Deiism In The Great Gatsby

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The Deist belief in an unconcerned God is a chilling idea. How could God not care about what happens in everyday life, not intervene? While this idea may be scary, it is prevalent in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Nick Carraway, the voice of the book, draws parallels to the Deist God. Alike the Deist God, Nick observes events taking place, and does not stop them. Some of these events end up with lethal consequences. This paper will compare Nick to the Deist God, and examine other signs of Deism throughout the book. These signs of Deism include the following: The T.J. Eckleburg Billboard, and George Wilson. Deism is not only prevalent throughout the book, but throughout American History, as some of America’s founding fathers were believed…show more content…
From the beginning of the book, Nick can be seen observing people/events and not intervening. At the end of chapter 1 Nick watches Gatsby stretch out his arms to the green light on Daisy’s dock. Nick thinks to call out to Gatsby, yet stops himself, thinking Gatsby rather be alone (Fitzgerald 20-1). “‘I decided to call to him,’” Nick writes, “‘But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone’” (Fitzgerald 20). In his head, Nick thinks to contact, “call to” Gatsby. Yet, as a Deist God may believe people are content to be alone, Nick comes to that conclusion. Like the Deist God, Nick remains uninvolved in Gatsby’s moment alone, and instead just watches him. Regarding the light Gatsby reaches to, it coincides with the idea of Nick as godlike. God is often associated with light, or as light. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Nick being present to watch over Gatsby as Gatsby views the light suggests godliness. Nick is also arguably the morally best character in The Great Gatsby. While he may seem as if he is just a witness from time to time, he is not involved in the sins of his friends. Due to Nick’s good moral character and association with light, his godliness is further…show more content…
In New York, Nick yet again proves himself as just an observer. Nick is reading a book in the apartment Tom bought for Myrtle, as both Tom and Myrtle have sex (Fitzgerald 29). Nick does not interrupt, and continues to read his book. Nick still just observes when Myrtle’s nose is broken by Tom’s hand (Fitzgerald 37). Nick does not make a move to help Myrtle to a hospital or reprimand Tom, furthering the idea that Nick is alike the Deist God, unconcerned. For Nick to observe Myrtle and Tom having sex is similar to God observing Adam and Eve having sex. Adam and Eve had intercourse and conceived when kicked out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 4:1). Adam and Eve were kicked out due to temptation, in their case, the temptation of knowledge. Myrtle and Tom are not able to have sex in the paradisiacal Eggs, therefore they are like cast offs. Forced to have intimate moments in a less than paradisiacal apartment building, they are still under the watch of the god figure, Nick. Nick, being like a God, can view the most intimate moments unavailable to the average eye. This shows that Nick can not only create tea party’s but see things others cannot, not in an observant way, but in a godly
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