Narcissism – emperor of New York, cult of personality
Gatsby is a huge personality in New York it is almost as if he is the emperor of New York with the chockhold he has on the public with his parties. Gatsby has a cult of personality surrounding him. Everyone knows him and wants to be in his favor, but no one knows who he really is.
Kuzco is the Emperor of his empire and everyone loves him.
Duality – real and talked-of self
As I said earlier, no one knows the real Gatsby. There is Jay Gatsby, which people know of, not about, and James Gatz which no one really knows at all.
Kuzco has his human body and his llama body. Everyone in the empire knows his human body because he is the emperor, but the overall public does not know that he was ever turned into a llama.
Both Gatsby and Kuzco have two personalities or bodies where the public knows about one but not the other. Both their real selves are the ones no one knows about, James Gatz and Kuzco and a llama.
Consumerism – pool construction in the village
There is a lot of consumerism in TGG. The cast goes to the city to drink and have parties, and we see consumerism in their daily activities. This is reminiscent of when Emperor Kuzco wanted to build a pool in the middle of a peasant village because he did not care about the villagers.
Learning lessons – have to have your wants taken away to realize their meaning
Gatsby had to have his American Dream taken away to realize what really mattered to him and Kuzco had to have his human body and power taken away to realize that he had to become a better person to be a good ruler.
This meme reminds me of the TikTok audio that goes like, “Oh, we’re in a different tax bracket”. It is used to poke fun at people who are unnecessarily flaunting their wealth and riches by directly comparing them to normal people that are trying to get by. This in turn reminds me of how Daisy could never be with Gatbsy because “rich girls never marry poor boys”. Even when Gatsby becomes rich after the war and they are likely in the same tax bracket, she still does not want him because he is still in her heart a “poor boy”. After World War I, the struggle between old money and new money became much more prominent than it ever had in the past. Old money folks took pride in the family money and the reputation that came with it. New money folks had to keep on proving that they belonged in the rich community, they had the money after all. Even though almost everyone we meet in TGG is rich, there still seems to be a struggle of rich versus poor. There are the old money Buchanans and new money Gatsby. Both are insav=nely rich, but only the Buchanans are fully respected members of society, while Gatsby hides who he really is. Only the people we meet though icka and the reader knows who Gatsby really is. To everyone else, he is a personality not a real person. He is in a different tax bracket from them, in money and in reality. He is a figment of the imagination of the public.
After watching the 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby this weekend, I can’t get over how Leonardo DiCaprio says “old sport”. He says it so often and with a distinctive accent I can only describe with the word “posh”. He says it like he has money and is an old man retired to his mansion after his wife died from tuberculosis many moons ago. It has the same energy as when a distant father is congratulating his son on doing something outstanding by saying “champ” or something like that. He says it so often you get used to it by the end of the movie, but the first few times it really sticks out when he says “old sport” like we are supposed to know what it means right away. The phrase seems to catch other characters, especially Nick, off guard at first. It is one of the first things Gatsby says to Nick when they meet at one of the parties.
Those who have read the book know that Gatsby says “old sport” as an homage to Dan Cody, the man who practically raised him and taught him how to survive in the world. However, Dan Cody was far from “posh” so it makes little sense to me that an homage to a poor man would be so fancy. Maybe it is because Dan Cody gave Gatsby the figurative tools to become “posh” himself and Gatsby is using this tone to say something like “I did it” and to still give credit to the man that made it happen in the first place.
There has been great speculation that Nick desired to have a homosexual relationship with Gatsby. This meme seems to play off of that joke, with Nick being unhappy that Gatsby would rather have no relationship than one with someone other than Daisy. I personally never saw this when reading the novel myself, but I can see how others find this theory to be true. Nick has almost no female love interests. He has something with Jordan Baker, but that goes nowhere. I always thought that it was because she was a modern woman and mildly problematic, and Nick did not want to be involved in her side of the drama she caused. However, just because a male character does not have any female love interests, that does not automatically make them interested in men. When reading the novel, I did pick up on an unusual obsession that Nick had for Gatsby, but I never associated it with anything sexual.
For a relatable perspective: almost everyone has fallen in love, and when it ended, you could never imagine yourself or the other person in a relationship with anyone else. That is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when you see them with a new person and you have no one. Daisy and Gatsby were in love, about to run away with each other, then life got in the way. They had to split paths, and she ended up with a new guy and Gatsby was all alone. He can’t imagine being in love with anyone but Daisy and has no intention in doing so anytime soon.
Everyone loves a good party. I personally love ending my week hanging out with my friends. It gives me something to look forward to especially if I have a lot of work to do on a particular week. It doesn’t have to be much. I don’t need a rager or anything illegal; just a fun time with my friends. Some of the best parties are the ones with no plan and with the people you haven’t seen in a long time and with whom you need to catch up on the time you were apart. I love having no agenda and just being able to have fun and catch up with old friends that I haven’t seen in a while.
After Gatsby made his wealth, he hosted a party almost every night. If I had no responsibilities I would be so down for that! People came to his parties to say that they were there and meet important people and maybe run into someone they haven’t seen in a hot minute. Gatsby himself had his own agenda. He wanted to find his long-lost love that he knew lived in the same city to which he recently moved. He was rarely seen at his own parties, lurking from above looking for Daisy. Eventually, he finds her after countless parties and then uses her cousin Nick to get to her. Gatsby was very clever to use his neighbor, Nick, who had more recently moved there because Nick would not know of his intentions and she would trust Nick. nobody got hurt at the parties , but the aftermath was not bloodless.
Everyone remembers this iconic line from “Mean Girls” that we quote every time we pick someone up from the side of the road to go somewhere, or at least I do. I pretend that I am rich and popular Regina George going to the mall for no reason except drama and to spend hundreds of my father’s dollars. I use this quote as a fun thing to make my friends laugh because we are usually not going shopping at the mall since we are all broke college students.
However, going for a ride for no reason or even to go “shopping” was a big deal in the 1920s. People started to move out of the city and used cars to commute to their jobs in the city. Cars were a new thing, and it was a luxury to go for a Sunday drive into the city. Cars themselves were not too expensive, but it was definitely an expense to buy one. Department stores and mass production of commodities were starting to become more common and made those commodities more affordable. Now, more people could drive to the store in their car and buy some fancy clothes or anything else we find in department stores today.
There were many occurrences where the cast got in the car and drove to the city. They went to visit people, eat, and just drive around. This was a new thing to just get in the car and go. They never worried about gas or milage; they just went into town. They were the first generation that has these luxuries and they used them often.
As we get older, we wish to go back to a time when the weekend meant the weekend and a “break” was a break, when we didn’t have to work and everything was playtime. Some of us want to go back to our kindergarten crush and first love. Most of the time, those are just wishes because we know going back in time is not possible (yet). Those people have moved on, probably forgot who we were, or simply don’t have a way to contact us besides our parent’s landline from when we were kids.
Gatsby however does not have this filter. He wants to continue the good old days and no one can tell him otherwise despite their valiant efforts. Daisy represents all of Gatsby’s youth and a time when he was James Gatz and had no pressure on him to be rich and work hard. When he lost Daisy, he did everything in his power to get her, and everything that she meant, back in his life. Gatsby is so caught up in his brilliant plan that he forgets who he really is, and in this process, he loses the only thing that he was working to achieve. The money and status are great and he loves it, but if he can’t have Daisy it is not worth it to him. He holds on to the hope that Daisy will eventually leave Tom, but she is not the person he thought she was.
That is what happens when you get older. People you knew when you were a kid change into a different person when you meet up with them years later. It sucks, but it’s a part of growing up.
When we were little, we dreamed of being rich and famous so we could have everything we ever wanted. Back then, it was probably toys, unlimited candy, and ice cream for breakfast every day. As we got older, we realized the value of money and wanted things like unlimited food, no gas payments, and no rent. Not only money, but we also start to value relationships more as adults than children. We learn from middle school and high school relationships and figure out what we want and what we don’t want in a relationship. For most of us, we want something sustainable that feels safe and happy. The fun, dangerous stuff is nice, but as an adult, that’s not as much of a priority as it is as an adolescent.
When Daisy and Gatsby were young, they loved each other and thought they were going to be together forever, and then the war got in the way. They thought maybe after the war they would reunite and continue their love story when everything went back to normal. But Daisy’s life followed a different path. She married another man but maybe she still loved Gatsby?
She definitely has ample reasons to divorce or at least quietly cheat on Tom so why does she never leave Tom and be with Gatsby? She is a very passive person and does not want to cause any trouble. She lives in the old world mindset that women are property and can’t do anything for themselves. However, the world around her is changing to be more progressive and female-forward. She has valid reasons to love Gatsby and be with him but she never does, possibly because she never loved him in the first place. Gatsby’s newfound wealth does not change her mind because she has a stable husband and that is her only priority. She does not want fun and wealth; she wants something that will keep her status high and give her a life that she is used to having, not something Gastby can give her.
We all love being the friend that everyone comes to with their problems. It makes us feel important and wanted that we were told such sensitive information. I personally love this feeling; knowing everything about a situation from all sides. It almost feels god-like to be an all-knowing presence in the group. Nick Carroway must have felt the same way in The Great Gatsby. Everyone confides in him, tells him every little secret, and makes him the all-knowing god of the main characters. He knows every feeling of every person and therefore knows when they lie straight through their teeth. He is the keeper of the drama and never lets on that he has been talking to the other party of the drama. This is how he keeps his reign on drama- he keeps everyone thinking that he is on their side, keeping their trust.
Nick is such an unproblematic king which is why we all love and trust him. He causes no problems and never picks a side so everyone thinks he is on theirs. This makes him such a good narrator because he relays all the information others tell him to us so we can feel like all-knowing gods just like him. We make that face when we read that someone lied about something they just told Nick about just a few pages ago, and I bet Nick does too.he makes everything more interesting for him to experience and us to read by knowing everything and seeing everything unfold dramatically.
This meme touches on a subject much as I wrote about last week. The Tom/Daisy/Gatsby love triangle is a main plot point in The Great Gatsby. This meme harps on the notion that even though Daisy is married to Tom, she still yearns for the romance that she had with Gatsby in the past. However, Daisy never does anything to end her abusive and unfaithful relationship with Tom. in my last post, I talked about how Gatsby wants to repeat the past, and this meme is saying that Daisy wants the same thing. She enjoys the rekindling romance the Gatsby gives her and reminisces about a time when they were together, without Tom in the picture. At the time we read about in the novel, Daisy has been waiting for Gatsby to come home from the war ever since he left. The only reason Daisy is not with Gatsby is that he had to leave for Europe. Despite her upper-class family’s disapproval of working-class Jay Gatsby, she had plans to run away and marry him. Once he left for the war, all those plans became irrelevant because they were an ocean apart. Daisy marries a man she learned to love but does not want. Tom does not like that Daisy still has feelings for Gatsby, however, he has his own guilty pleasures in Myrtle. Tom cheats on Daisy and has no remorse, even showing off his affair to Nick. F. Scott Fitzgerald could be making a statement on how men at the time could get away with extramarital affairs but women were shamed if they even looked at another man, and could not file for divorce on their own. Fitzgerald could have used this plot point to make a point in real life on the equality for women to choose their own love lives.