Gatsby, Tom, Monsters in Different Masks.

Many people look at the love story of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan as this good moment of a woman trying to be with a man she loves and escape an abusive one….but would it be?

Sure, Gatsby loves Daisy. He showers her in wealth and promises to love her…..but so did Tom. And I am not saying Gatsby would surround himself with harlots and whores, but think about who he is. He’s a gangster. A criminal. Would he be willing to let Daisy into that world? To know about the truths of who he is, how many men he’s killed? Probably not.

Not only that, he’d be putting a target on her back. As his woman, she would be fair game to those who would wish to act against him. All the while, she would be kept in the dark about his activities and maybe even, eventually, a victim of his temper as she pushes him over a line.

That is not to say that she should stay with Tom cause he’s the better option, both are bad choices but it’s the hand she’s been dealt and its sad that she’s in this mess to begin with.

Did Gatsby Achieve the American Dream?

“the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.”

That is how Google describes the American dream, but that feels somewhat flawed. After all, the phrase used to describe the American Dream seems to have always been white picket fence, house in the Suburbs, and two good kids. That doesn’t seem to be the highest aspiration or ultimate goal.

I think the greatest issue in regards to the perception of the American Dream is that Americans are so used to having so much, that we do not understand the perspective of the people seeking the original American Dream.

To a Refugee fleeing Communist Russia or Nazi Germany, a nice house and a place to raise your kids in safety is the highest priority. To a person who has only ever known the back streets of a major city, a clean bed and someone to live with is a dream.

Gatsby’s flaw was he was not seeking a dream, he was after an obsession. Things like houses, businesses, education for your children, are not Zero Sum games. They are not Monopoly, they are Minecraft. Room for Growth for all who put in the work, not just solely a roll of the dice and taking from others.

But his dream of Daisy is a zero sum game, as there is only one Daisy. So he would need to compete with someone else, put much on the line. And how he went about it was like a twelve year old at a poker table. No planning, no tact, just Day Dreaming and Bond Films.

So, his dream of being a somebody happened. He achieved immense wealth and status and fame. But, his obsession of having THE Daisy was what cost him his dream.

Music over Violence…..not a good mask

The Joker : The Mask

Doing some video clip hunting for the final project lead me to Gotham, and that series had some great moments but any scene with Jerome Valeska is a good one. But in a scene where he walked into a nice building with a clean suit and a shotgun to talk business got me thinking. Primarily about the Joker and his mask.

By this point its safe to say that there is a mask in the world of criminals, either the one for your family or the one for your enemies. What is fascinating about the Joker, to me personally at least, is he becomes the mask. The very identity of the Joker, whether it was just a diversion or some mistake becomes the defining piece of the man who becomes the Joker.

In a similar vein, this is Gatsby. He ignores who he was in favor of what he wants to be, believing a lie over the truth. Criminals like Al Capone or Tuco Salamanca can place the mask on or off depending on when they need it, but men like Gatsby and the Joker become so used to wearing it, it becomes their true face.

A Colored Shirt and an Enlisted Man’s Helm

On April 1st 2022 I made one of the most stupid and most bestest purchases of my life. A Roman Centurion Helmet which can be seen here…..


Not the best picture, but I am also not a photographer. And this got me thinking. One of the things we in America, and presumably other first world nations, is we like to envision ourselves as someone or something else, that what we are isn’t enough. I would lie if I said I would not love the chance to slay Gauls and Egyptians in the name of Caesar or to slaughter Danes and Saxons in the name of Constantine of Scotland.

That is Gatsby to a T. He loathed what he was born as and imagined himself as something greater. He is not the only person who looks at something, historical, current, or fictional, and envisions himself as that very thing. The only difference is Gatsby went after his dream as though he was in a fairy tale where he would succeed, whereas people like myself know the cold fact that the Fairies are dead and that tales are just lies.

The Men of Italy and the Men of America

“I wish for the Senate to be made of the Best Men in Italy not just the Richest Old Men in Rome”

I am currently rewatching Rome and this line from the character of Gaius Julius Caesar, inspired by the historical figure of the same name, resonated with me in relations to the realm of the Great Gatsby. This quote is in response to cries of outrage at the raising of a lowly plebe, a born free man of Rome, being given a place in the Roman Senate.

This line right here is the American Dream, the idea that all men could achieve the greatest of offices in a nation should they be deserving. However, like so many dreams and stories associated with this ideal the machinations of power and greed send this man, Lucius Vorenius, from this seat to a life of crime, depression, and self-loathing after the realm of politics costs him dearly.

Heroes and People

“Technoblade: “Let me tell you a story Tommy, a story of a man called Theseus, his country, well a city state technically, was in danger, and he sent himself forward into enemy lines, he slayed the minotaur and saved his city. You know what they did to him Tommy? They exiled him, he died in disgrace, despised by his people, that´s what happens to Heroes Tommy!”

Tubbo: But he saved everyone!”

Technoblade: “The Greeks knew the score, but if you want to be a Hero Tommy, That´s fine…”

Tommy: “Technoblade, don´t do this, we´re so close!”

Technoblade: “If you want to be a hero…”

Tommy: “No one´s the Hero! We got Manberg for–!”

Technoblade: “If you want to be a hero Tommy, THEN DIE LIKE ONE!”

I will not apologize for using a Dream SMP quote because this is just a fact about stories like the Great Gatsby. Good men die with nothing and bad men usually escape. Of course, Jay Gatsby died with nothing so that rule doesn’t apply to everyone.

And yes, you read that correctly. Jay Gatsby is not a hero. Not even close. He made his money from criminal enterprises. Even ignoring that, he attempted to seduce another man’s wife. Even though Tom was a piece of trash, no good act washes out the bad, nor bad the good. Gatsby was no better than Tom by doing this, and yet the novel glosses over this fact due to Nick’s infatuation with Gatsby and his disdain for Tom.

But every story needs a Hero, even if they die in the first act or only appear for the Third. The closest thing to a hero this story has is George Wilson, the avenging fist of God striking down the “man” who killed his wife. And what happens to George in the end? He eats a .38 surprise with his vengeance fulfilled.

The Castle in the Sky and the Green Light at East Egg

One of my favorite things EVER is an action horror manga created by Kentaro Miura (R.I.P.) called Berserk. And in Berserk, there is a character by the name of Griffith, just Griffith, his parents were too poor to afford a last name, that reminds me a lot of Gatsby.

I can hear the people who know both the Great Gatsby and Berserk calling me crazy. I mean, just look at them.

See the source image
Griffith is a feminine looking man with long platinum blond hair and hawk like eyes. Whereas Gatsby……doesn’t have an image of what Fitz Gerald thinks he looks like so here’s the movie Gatsby.
See the source image
As we can see, Gatsby looks masculine, keeps his normal blond hair short, and his eyes aren’t as intense.

And where Gatsby is reclusive and has no one who really cares about him, Griffith is a public figure with an army who would all die for him and legions of women who would give anything for his time of day.

All that said, there are many things that make them similar. For one, both men came from less than nothing. Griffith was a gutter rat in some medieval city and Gatsby was the son of a midwest dirt farmer. They also both made their names through the theater of war. They both have a man who idolizes them to near deification, both seek out a thing that someone of their birth shouldn’t even believe they have a chance of attaining, and both lose quite literally everything they ever achieved by a single emotion-driven decision.

Time to break down each and every one of these.

Churlish Origin

Jay Gatz was the son of a farmer who lived in poverty worse than that you’d see in a place like New York. In fact, he loathed it so much he left as soon as he could, finding himself in the employ of an older wealthy man who taught him everything he needed to know to live in high society, though without the necessary funds to actually live within high society.

Griffith meanwhile grew up in a city as a churl in some medieval Kingdom and….that’s about all we know about his origins. I mean, we also know he at some point in his childhood acquired the Egg of the King which served as a lucky charm for his campaigns as a soldier. He also had an old rich patron, though instead of educating him on high society living the man…..solicited favors in exchange for funds and let’s leave it there as any more details would be NSFW.

On to war.


Though Gatsby had the look and attitude of a rich man, his wallet said otherwise. That all changed after heroics in WW2 and other factors ends up leading to him working among the US Crime Families in the Bootlegging industry. He amasses a lot of money and uses that money to buy a mansion in West Egg and host elaborate parties in the hope to draw Daisy Buchanan, his dream, to him. More on that later.

Griffith goes about things only slightly more lawful. He uses his own genius, luck, and wealth to lead the army of a Kingdom called Midland to victory in a Hundred Year war. Through this, he amasses immense influence and capital which he further invests to amass a lot of power.


Stepping back for a moment, both men have a man that practically worships him and is also integral to their final goal. For Gatsby, its Nick Carraway and for Griffith it’s a man named Guts, a very powerful and unyielding Mercenary. That tidbit out of the way, on with the main point.


Both men have a major dream that they wish to achieve. Gatsby’s is Daisy Buchanan, which has the added caveat of being obscenely wealthy. Griffith’s is his own Kingdom, which he plans to achieve by becoming a powerful lord in the Kingdom of Midland and to be wed into the Royal family of Midland.

Sadly for both men, they make a choice that costs them everything.


For Gatsby, the choice is twofold. The first is pushing Daisy too hard and the second is pouring everything into Daisy. He allowed his obsession for her to blind his judgment, and it cost him brutally in the end. And Griffith had a similar story, but instead of a woman, it was a man.

Remember that guy Guts I mentioned? It’s well established that Guts is really the only person in the world Griffith has emotional attachments to, though calling it love is not accurate. More like possession. Anyway, after Guts leaves he spirals and makes some decisions that leads to him stripped of all titles, thrown in a dungeon, and his army scattered and branded brigands.

Though unlike Gatsby, who died in the end, Griffith got a second chance at life. All for the low low price of damning every man and the single woman who had followed him into Hell, quite literally, in exchange for a pair of raven black wings to soar through the heavens.

A Mental Case’s Theory

A lot of people like to talk about the Green Light or the woes of an Elite Class or how epic Gangsters are or other things of that nature when talking about the Great Gatsby. But whenever I think about this novel, I think about how the ending to Gatsby’s story is a grand manipulation.

This entire idea stems from a single quote from Daisy Buchanan about her hopes for her daughter.

‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.’

“You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,” she went on in a convinced way.

This gives me the vibe that Daisy is more intelligent than she lets on. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This could just mean she has a better understanding of her situation, not necessarily that she has the intellect to pull of a Jame’s Moriarty level scheme,” and you are completely right. But, bear with me.

Let us pretend that we have actual evidence that Daisy is smart enough to set up some sort of 4th-dimensional manipulation, what would she do? At the end of the day, what does she really want? From what we see of her, honestly not much. She wants a faithful companion and a wealthy lifestyle. She has one, but not the other.

Tom is……well I cannot express my true opinion of him in a family-friendly way so let us just call him a piece of verminous trash and move on to the part where I talk about his infidelity. As people who read the novel know, a major part of the Novel’s conflict hinges on Tom’s relations with a woman named Myrtle, in an affair that is not exactly well hidden as the woman in question straight up, on multiple occasions, calls Tom’s home phone. I imagine Daisy picked up at least once.

And when Gatsby returns, Daisy probably saw this as an opportunity to enter a relationship with a man who would lavish her…..until she thought the situation out clearly. In 1920s America if a guy is sleeping around, especially in High Society, that dren is covered up right quick. But if a woman does it? Different story. So as much as she loved Gatsby, she could only be with him in secret. And Gatsby clearly wanted her to be in an actual relationship with him, which could ruin her reputation.

So how does a woman remove her lover and her husband’s lover in one swift move? Murder is a good way to do it, and vehicular homicide appears to be Daisy’s chosen method. She runs down Tom’s mistress in Gatsby’s car, a car that would be easily identified by the police, knowing that Gatsby would take the heat for her. I imagine she was hoping Gatsby would spend time in prison for vehicular manslaughter charges, but even better for her Myrtle’s husband tied up the final loose end for her.

With that, she has her husband back (most likely on a tighter leash now) and her reputation safe. And I am fully aware that this sounds too crazy and I am coming off like a conspiracy theorist, and I am fully willing to admit that this is not the intention of the book. But it is a fun thing to think about, no?

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