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When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?

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Jay Gatsby was born James Gatz and changed his name when he was seventeen. He did it to tailor it to his new lifestyle and reflect his wish to obtain wealth and status.

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Jay Gatsby is introduced as a mysterious millionaire. He owns a luxurious mansion and throws extravagant parties every week. Nick sees him as a self-made man who committed his life to become wealthy and successful. But his real aim is to win back the woman he loves. Gatsby is described as a man who has shaped his character. It is an admirable talent to make everything he aspires to come true.

Jay Gatsby was born under the name of James Gatz in North Dakota as a son of poor farmers. At the age of seventeen, he met Dan Cody, a rich man who became his mentor. Over the next several years, James got used to the lifestyle of the rich and powerful. Then, he changed his name to Jay Gatsby to make it sound more aristocratic. The decision was shaped by the Gatsby’s desire to alienate himself from his family and upbringing. He wanted to reshape his identity into one of a prosperous and successful man. The name was supposed to reflect his new nature and lifestyle.

Gatsby’s story of success is the representation of the American Dream. From an early age, he imagined himself to be a wealthy, refined, and respected man. It did not really correlate with his upbringing, though. He wanted to be someone else so badly that he was willing to make money by any means possible. Gatsby was ready to leave many things behind, including his name. Changing the name was merely a reflection of his aspirations.

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"When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?" IvyPanda, 23 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/q/when-and-why-did-gatsby-change-his-name/.

1. IvyPanda. "When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?" October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/when-and-why-did-gatsby-change-his-name/.


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IvyPanda. "When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?" October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/when-and-why-did-gatsby-change-his-name/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?" October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/when-and-why-did-gatsby-change-his-name/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'When and Why Did Gatsby Change His Name'. 23 October.

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