In class we discussed the many reasons we read literature and one was the common humanity we can take away from texts. In Gatsby, I found a kindred narrative within the rag to riches story of James Gatz and the creation of his persona, Jay Gatsby.
I think to some extent we all come with a persona and feel the anxiety that comes with keeping it up. When we first come to college, at some capacity we all share a deep seeded fear that we will be “found out”. Such thoughts as: “Maybe they will find out I’m not as smart as I seem.”, “Maybe everyone will find out I’m not good enough to be here.”, etc, etc.
In James Gatz’s case, I found the same. He fears he will be found out by the old-money elite. He shares his past with Nick as if it is a deep, dark secret and that is exactly why I believe he lets the general populous and party guests believe the dramatic rumors they circulate about him (like the German spy one).
So was Gatsby just a fraud? A creation of James Gatz’s dillusions of grandeur? Or do we all to some degree shape our public personas?