Was FS Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby an Admirable Character?

I always was conflicted about JG. On the one hand, he’s a self-made man, a success. On the other, he seems to have been a very shallow character, almost infantile in his wants. Was he a ggod guy or a cad?
I see JG as a self-invented character-he was a poor guy who decided whatbhe wanted to be, and made himself in his own image. I sort of identify wih this. :confused:

No - he breaks the law to get rich, lies about himself,and maybe more importantly, he’s just too self-deluded to be admirable. Even then, he doesn’t look so bad compared to the people around him. I can certainly identify with him, and he’s very driven. I suppose he might have been a good man if he hadn’t met Daisy. I pity the guy, personally.

No, but he is dead. It is my rule to let the dead alone.

The poor son of a bitch.

The best fictional characters always leave you asking this question and scratching your head.

I’m not sure Gatsby is any different than most people would be under similar circumstances.

He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.

again: Jay Gatz/Gatsby was a brave war heroe (was awarded several medals by the Fench government). he is also generous to his friends (those lavish parties), and loyal to his business partner (Meyer Wolfsheim-who deserts him in the end-doesn’t even attend his funeral). OK, the guy made his money as a bootlegger-just like Joseph Kennedy.
To me JG is a far more noble character than Tom and Daisy.
Anyway, can you really “invent” a new identity for yourself/ (like JG did)? I’d very much like to do this!

Sure you can. The problem is keeping it believable so as not to get caught.

He doesn’t have friends. The parties are just his way to make a name for himself and find Daisy.

I don’t remember Gatsby having to be loyal to Wolfsheim in any way. In any case, that doesn’t do him any credit. Wolfsheim is a major organized crime figure.

I haven’t read the book in a few years, but I think there are some hints that he also got money from other illegal pursuits.

Definitely true. He’s the only one of them who really cares about anything, even if it’s a delusion about reliving the past with a woman who was probably not worth his time. He’s too obsessed about her (and money) to be admirable, I think: it’s not enough that she loves him, he demands that she tell her husband she never loved him. He wants to erase the whole part of her life that wasn’t with him. It’s sad, and you can admire his determination - and yes, you can admire that he’s the only non-jaded character, even if he is a liar and a criminal - but I don’t think you can admire the whole picture.

“Admirable” as in “someone you should emulate”? No. Not by a long shot. But is he generally likable, honorable toward his friends, and recognizably human? Oh yes. He’s one of the best-drawn characters in all of American literature, I think–even if that really means that Fitgerald was very judicious in what he left for the reader to fill in themselves. Gatsby, I think, says something very profound not only about humanity, but about the “American character.” We are always so gung-ho about making the world bend to our will and creating our own reality and getting rich. By those measures, Gatsby is a raving success. But there’s this big empty hole in the middle of him that, no matter how much stuff he throws into it, never fills up. And when he finally “gets” the object of his obsession (and devotion to a “first love” is generally also seen as a desireable trait), it turns out he’s been chasing a fantasy all along.

I once told a teacher I wanted to write the “Great American Novel.” She said “It’s been done. Read The Great Gatsby.” And she was right.