Consider the steps Gatsby has taken to plan the encounter with Daisy. What is revealed in his character and how might this be read using a critical lens?
Below is the list of steps Gatsby took to plan his encounter with Daisy:
After the war Gatsby leaves his home to chase the "American dream" and to become good enough for Daisy:
He moves to the East and slowly works up his wealth. As the years go by, he establishes himself as a rich, party thrower, yet some what of a mystery man. No one knows him, but everyone attends his parties. This builds up his social stature. When Nick enters the story and it is revealed that he knows Daisy, Gatsby sees this as his opportunity to reignite the flame. Gatsby doesn't ask Nick, he asks Jordan to ask Nick for him. This shows that Gatsby is almost shy or embarrassed about the whole idea. When Nick agrees to it, Gatsby has to make everything perfect. Nothing can look bad for Daisy. His house, his yard and even Nick's yard must be beautiful enough for Daisy. Once Daisy arrives, you see a very awkward and strange side of Gatsby. He almost leaves before Daisy shows up. When she does show up, the encounter is very awkward as well. It almost seems that too much time has passed and that they aren't the same people they used to be. Once Nick leaves and re-enters the room, the whole atmosphere has changed. His lack of confidence that he had once Daisy entered the room was gone and the “old sport” confident Gatsby was back. When Nick describes the happiness of Gatsby, he says that he “literally glowed”. Gatsby felt that their love had been rejuvenated and he truly believed he could re-create the past and win Daisy.
If you were to read this through a lens, it could be read through psychoanalytic, Marxist and feminist.
Looking through this with a psychoanalytic lens, you will see Gatsby's true dreams. Ever since Gatsby fell in-love with Daisy or the idea of Daisy, he made it his goal to be rich. Not only does he achieve the wealth, but he also makes a name for himself as one of the best party throwers around. He does all of this to get Daisy's attention and for her to see that he is capable of joining the secret society. The way Gatsby plans everything out shows how he not only desires Daisy, but also longs to be accepted into this secret society. He takes 5 years to slowly build his way up and get Daisy back. He gets rich and throws amazing parties, but he is never accepted into the society. Now that he has finally met up with her, he needs to seize the opportunity to impress her. He makes his house look perfect for her and then proceeds to show her everything he has accomplished. It seems to be working as Daisy cries while Gatsby shows her his clothing. “He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.” This quote reveals how much Gatsby desires Daisy and feels the need to awe her and show her that he deserves to be part of the secret society.
Reading through with a feminist lens will show how Gatsby views Daisy. He holds her high in his mind and heart. Through the male gaze, he always speaks of her beauty. To Gatsby she is more of an object than a person.
If you were to read this through a Marxist lens, then it comes down to social status and wealth. Gatsby will never be accepted into the secret society, but he believes he can through the power of money and Daisy. His money will impress Daisy and win her over. He thinks if he can regain her love then he will be approved of, thus being part of the ever so elusive secret society.