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Religious Connections in The Great Gatsby
Transcript of Religious Connections in The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby, may seem to be devoid of religion.
However, upon closer examination a clearly religious aura envelops the protagonist of the novel, Jay Gatsby. About His Father's business Gatsby's weekly parties echo the weekly celebration of the Mass. Gatsby's parties: a new Mass Biblical Echoes Gatsby cannot be regarded as a truly Christ-like person. He engages in many questionable activities throughout his life. F. Scott Fitzgerald did not say Gatsby is Christ, but instead chooses to draw some parallels and highlight some contrasts between the two figures. Gatsby is a mirror of Christ, but a distorted one. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald draws clear parallels between Gatsby and Christ: "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. " “Know you not that I must be about my Father’s business?” In Luke 2:49 Christ states: What Business? In the case of Jesus, "business" refers to the redemption of a fallen mankind.
This is a far cry from Gatsby's criminal activities that have granted him his wealth.
Gatsby's "business" is the service of the "vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty" of the American dream and Daisy. meretricious: apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity (from the Latin word for prostitute) Gatsby: Host "I made an attempt to find my host."
"We were going to find the host"
"I haven’t even seen the host"
"I’m afraid I’m not a very good host" At his parties, Gatsby is repeatedly referred to as a "host": Gatsby's presence at the parties mirrors that of Christ at church. The host of the parties is usually not visible to the guest, yet they believe that he is there. The New Cana "Floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden"
a woman “snatches one out of the air, dumps it down for courage” before performing a dance At the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine.
Gatsby performs miracles with his wealth. His drinks are described in impossible terms: Gatsby: Old and New Testaments Gatsby's Old Testament is his life as James Gatz. He is a young, poor soldier. His lack of money is his original sin, and mirrors Eve's apple. It prevents him from attaining paradise, represented by Daisy. His New Testament is his life as Jay Gatsby. He mirrors Christ in redeeming his original sin. He hopes that having redeemed himself, he can finally be worthy of heaven. Jacob's ladder When speaking with Nick, Gatsby delves into his Old Testament, describing a walk with Daisy when he was still James Gatz, an army officer: "Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees – he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder." "He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it." This mirrors the biblical Old Testament story of Jacob's Ladder: Gatsby eventually ascends this ladder and can taste the wondrous milk of wealth, but cannot attain paradise in Daisy. Gatsby's Incarnation The Incarnation of Christ was the moment that the New Testament began. Christ took on his new form in order to redeem humanity. "At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete." At the moment Gatsby kisses Daisy on their walk, his New Testament begins. He is incarnated into his Christ-like form that is determined to redeem his lack of wealth. Gatsby's death: Passion of the Christ Gatsby's death is an ironic reenactment of Christ's passion and death "At two o’clock Gatsby put on his bathing suit" Echoes Christ stripped of his clothing during his passion "Then he gave instructions that the open car wasn’t to be taken out
under any circumstances—and this was strange because
the front right fender needed repair." Gatsby embraces his own death, he knows it is his duty, as Christ did. "Gatsby shouldered the mattress" The cross. "started for the pool" Christ's journey to Calvary. "the chauffeur asked him if he needed help" Simon of Cyrene " the butler went without his sleep and waited for it
until four o’clock" Gatsby died around 3 o'clock at about 30 years of age The religious connections in The Great Gatsby provide subliminal clues about Gatsby's life and actions. They add a significant dimension to the novel, and are essential to its message. THANK YOU By Christopher Guadarrama, Jacques Paye,
Jose Sanchez and Michael Wilson Gatsby at the pool, moments from death or ? The Rumors Gatsby Jesus Inside the parties, rumors spread quickly and carelessly. None happen to be true, yet guests continue to contribute exaggerated ideas and theories about Gatsby. This, in a way, relates to Christ, and the belief that he would come in an all-powerful form. Rumors about Gatsby include the thought that he was a German spy during World War I. This is said by a guest who does not know Gatsby, or anything about him When news of Jesus' coming as the Messiah, people thought He was going to be a wealthy, powerful king that would come to overthrow the Roman Empire and free the people from their suffering. However, this too is a false assumption created by those who did not know Jesus. Although what is said about Jesus and Gatsby may not have a great deal of significance, the presence of false assumptions about the two creates a connection. It represents a misunderstanding of Gatsby from people who do not have a direct relationship with him. The Denials After Gatsby's death, Nick tries to find people to mourn his friend's death. He calls Meyer Wolfsheim three times, but receives no answer.
These unanswered phone calls mimic the three denials of Peter in the Bible.