2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

"To Live a Fool and Die a Sage": Jay Gatsby as a Warped Quixotic Hero
Harry L. Althoff♦
Dr. Alanna Preussner, Faculty Mentor

Emerging mysteriously from the West, a rich playboy with mob connections throws ludicrously extravagant parties on a whim, no invitation required, and spends night after night pining for his lost love. Of course, the West could be anywhere from the Midwest to San Francisco, the "mob" connections are questionable, the hordes of party guests care nothing for their host, and the "lost love" is little more than another vague goal to achieve. Just as Alonso Quixano some three hundred years before him, Jimmy Gatz wakes up every morning, dons an idealized personality, and goes out into the world to make a fool of himself. Through the unfortunately Quixotic Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald reveals that the American Hero is warped, distorted by the materialism of his time from a courageous defender of freedom into a sad, wealthy imitation of the ideals for which the American Dream once stood.

Keywords: Gatsby, Quixote, Quixotic, American Hero, American Dream, Gatz, Warped


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 17-2
Location: OP 2121
Time: 10:00

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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