Gatsby's Sacrifices

1818 WordsApr 30, 20028 Pages
Gatsby's Sacrifice Spring 1996 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 means anything, means just that-- and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. 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 (99). James Gatz was already "about his Father's business" when he carefully sketched out a schedule for self improvement on the back of his "Hopalong Cassidy" book. He had already realized what his dream was and had created his own personal religion, which was one of romantic…show more content…
"Fitzgerald makes Gatsby announce, as did Jesus, that his account of himself is 'God's truth'" (Christensen, 154). The events that lead up to Gatsby's death and Gatsby's death itself resemble in some ways Jesus' death and resurrection. Gatsby, "shouldered (his) mattress" on the way to his pool, the place of his death, much like Christ carried the cross to Golgotha before He was crucified. The murder of Gatsby occurs at around 3:00 in the afternoon, the same hour of Christ's death (Allen, 109). Also, "like Christ, Gatsby is left among strangers during a three-day vigil, and 'on the third day' (167) his true identity is resurrected with the telegram of Henry C. Gatz of Minnesota" (Allen, 109). Other elements of the character of Jay Gatsby take on new meaning when compared to Renan's idea of Christ, and in this Fitzgerald voices his beliefs. Gatsby was a romantic idealist. He tried to make his ideal dream, which was embodied in Daisy, a reality. For one moment it seems that he had done this, just as Renan claimed Jesus enjoyed a brief period of success. "He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete" (112). But, he soon realizes that his
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