Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Great Gatsby-Reinvention of the Self

Barack Obama

Great gatsby- reinvention of the self 

The theme of reinvention of the self is not a theme that is constant throughout the Great Gatsby, this theme only comes to light in chapter six when we discover that Jay Gatsby was in fact born James Gatz born into a poor family, a boy who disliked his parents for their lower social class. 

The first description of Gatsby's reinvention comes at the beginning of chapter six when Nick describes “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. 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." From this quote we can see the disklike James Gatz had for his parents due to their unsuccessful farming career and we can see why Jay Gatsby has come into being. 

This quote in particular shows us why Gatz had a desire to become Gatsby. The quote highlights the poor childhood Gatz had and we can infer that he did not want a poor and limited life for his future, therefore, he decided to 'reinvent himself' to become someone of a higher social class and he saw his opportunity when he saw the boat of Dan Cody. He thought very highly of Cody as later we discover that Gatsby has a picture of him in his bedroom. Cody was clearly the father figure and role model Gatz had always wanted. From this point on, it is as if Cody has become the father of Gatsby. 

It can be argued that Barack Obama has reinvented himself as he did not come from a privileged background. His father left the family and only visited Barack twice after leaving. Obama also struggled with a sense of who he was, especially during his teenage years. He would frequently turn to alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with not really knowing who he was. Born in Hawaii with and white mother and a black father, he struggled with knowing where he fit in. It can be argued that Obama reinvented himself as he overcame problems with racism and his struggles of who he was. He reinvented himself by completing a degree in political science. Obama also overcame racism during his presidential campaign and went on to become the first black president of the USA. 

Both Obama and Gatsby had to reinvent themselves as neither came from wealthy and privileged backgrounds, yet the both understood that in order to gain the future they both wanted, they needed to change. Both had problems they needed to face, but both overcame these problems.

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