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Jay Gatsby, The Christ Figure?

             Jay Gatsby is described as "a son of God and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty" (Fitzgerald 104). Throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby, there are many images that would lead a reader to believe that Gatsby was indeed a son of God. Some critics would even agree that Jay Gatsby establishes a literary role as a Christ-like figure. He came to West Egg to save Daisy from the emptiness of her marriage and the murder that took place. Even with all the images and parallels to Christ, Gatsby is not a Christ-figure. Gatsby's life was created through means that go against God's nature. Just as the Jazz Age was all sparkle and no substance, so is Gatsby as the image of Christ.
             Many allusions are buried deep within the novel. Some of the first descriptions on Gatsby are linked to biblical images. Gatsby is described as having "a heightened sensitivity to the promises of life" (Fitzgerald 6). Like Christ promises life eternal, Gatsby has also seen the promises of life (Quieto 1). The allusion of Christ in the garden is also apparent. When Nick is leaving Gatsby's party he searches for Gatsby "to apologize for not knowing him in the garden" (Fitzgerald 57). The garden reference may be linked to two sources of biblical imagery. First, where Adam and Eve are hiding in the garden and pretending that they do not know God's beckoning (Genesis 3:7-10). Even more closely related, the garden scene represents when Jesus was raised from the dead and Mary Magdalene did not know Jesus but mistook him for a gardener. (John 20:13-16). Even the physical descriptions that are used, leads to a Christ-like image. When Nick and the reader first observe Gatsby, he is standing with his arms spread out and trembling. Nick describes Gatsby when watching him upon first meeting, "he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling" (Fitzgerald 25-26).

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