Haven't read that book in years, but... Jay Gatsby and RL both tried to recreate their past. Gatsby told everybody lies that he studied at Oxford, etc.. Ralphie, born Ralph Lifschitz, literally changed his last name as to appear less Jewish. There's a certain amount of anglophilla, and thus a underlying sense of cultural inferiority. Gatsby is ashamed of his past, and he tries to project this mysterious, romantic past to replace it. At one point, Gatsby lies to so many people, you start to wonder if even Gatsby believes his lies by now. RL does the same with his advertisements where he tries to project this image of luxury and old money heritage and class. If you didn't know any better, you'd think he was a WASP living a simple but honest life half of the time and living the beautiful life in the other half. In reality, RL was a lower middle class Jew who grew up in Bronx. RL sells this lifestyle of nonchalance and quiet confidence, yet there are stories of a tyranical, insecure RL. Both ashamed of how they made their fortunes. Gatsby's riches is somehow connected to gamblers and illegal activities. The bulk of RL's profits comes from his outlets, even though he doesn't want people to know that. RL didn't study art or fashion in college; he was a business major.
post #16 of 84
4/20/05 at 8:45am