Essay on Gatsby's Sacrifices

1820 Words Apr 17th, 2002 8 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
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Renan was included in "Amory's list of the sword-like pioneering personalities who were concerned in the 'eternal attempt to attach a positive value to life'" (Christensen, 156). Renan had such an impact on Fitzgerald that his appreciation for his work endured. Twenty years later he wrote a letter to his daughter Scottie asking her if she had read any good books lately, such as Renan's Life of Jesus (Cristensen, 156).
Renan believed that Jesus was a romantic idealist, not an incarnation of the divine. He believed He was "merely mortal," and "intellectually dismisses Jesus' declarations of God's truth about His Messianic identity and power because these declarations violate 'our principles of positive science'" (Christensen, 157). Renan admires Jesus for being faithful to His dream, which was salvation for mankind. He believed that Jesus' dream, although it seemed he had a brief period of success, was destroyed in the end because He was disillusioned; His ideas were not grounded in reality. The realization of this is what caused him to give up his life and surrender to the Romans to be crucified.
Fitzgerald creates many parallels between Jay Gatsby and Jesus Christ in order to establish a powerful message about humanity, and in this message he communicates his own feelings about Christianity. Before Gatsby tells Nick about his past; his travels through Europe, Montenegro, and his

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