Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Group 1 - Question 5

Gatsby meets Daisy's child. Explain the scene and its significance in the novel and consider this using several critical lenses.


In chapter 7, Gatsby finally has the opportunity to meet Daisy's child, Pammy, as they (Tom, Daisy, Nick, Jordan, and himself) join each other for a luncheon on a hot summer day. It is described that Gastby “kept looking at the child with surprise” (Page 117). It is also mentioned that Nick doesn't think Gatsby “had ever really believed in [the child’s] existence before” (Page 117). Throughout the scene, Gatsby actually doesn't say anything at all...he was shocked silent. 

This is scene is significant because Gatsby’s surprised reaction indicates how he is unhappy with the introduction of yet another obstacle in his way of acquiring Daisy for himself. He is unhappy because the bond of a child between Tom and Daisy doesn't fit in with his version of “The American Dream”. Gatsby, in fact, everybody, wants an easy way to achieve their dreams and goals and nobody likes it when obstacles (such as a child) or people (Tom, in Gatsby’s case) slow you down. 

That’s the more obvious reason as to why Gatsby was so shocked and surprised. Although, if we were to look at it from a Psychoanalytic Lens, there is more depth to Gatsby’s dazed expression. It can be observed that he may actually be jealous of Daisy’s child because she is where he wants to be (this is his ID kicking in). He doesn't say much at all, revealing his repressed want of Daisy. The ID is the part of the mind that holds all these repressed feelings and it is also responsible for making people believe that something they WANT, is something they NEED.

At the same time, if we looked at this scene through a Marxist Lens, we would notice and realize that Daisy’s child represents the rich childhood he never had, and tried his best to get away from. Gatsby grew up quite poor and he wanted to make something of himself that would somehow rid him of his past, and make others overlook it. Daisy had Pammy all dressed up because she wanted to “show [her] off” to Nick and Gatsby. Gatsby never had anything to show off as a child in the lower class. This could also be a reason that he continuously holds extravagant parties at his success of a mansion; it brings him to a higher class.


Labels: Gatsby, Daisy

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