The allusions in “The Great Gatsby” refer to many different pieces of literature. Such as The Bible. In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby is portrayed as a Christ figure due to his playing of the Father and Son, his giving and leadership, and his symbolic death. Jay Gatsby was his own role model. He acted as his own father when he recreated himself after meeting Dan Cody. Nick Carraway’s description was that Gatsby was, “A Son of God-a phrase which, if it means anything , means just that-and he must be about his fathers business,” (Fitzgerald 109).
This quote demonstrates how Gatsby’s personal ambitions are of a higher powers will (Earle). The first time Nick sees Gatsby his movements were described as leisurely and that Gatsby had come out to determine what share of the local heavens were his. This thought of Nick’s makes it seem to the reader that he is entitled to his place in God’s eyes, and that he is entitled to his place in Heaven (Earle). Fitzgerald’s decision to obscure Gatsby’s birth also resembles the mystery of Jesus’s youth.
Up until later in the novel, Gatsby’s youth is a mystery, he is secretive, Jesus’s youth is also very obscured in the Bible and is mainly focused on his adulthood (Christensen 154). Gatsby’s mystery and self-made path is similar to that of Jesus Christ’s life. Jay Gatsby’s interactions with others is much like Jesus Christ’s interactions with people in the Bible. Gatsby’s parties are an excellent example of just that, they resemble the miracles Jesus performed in the Bible because they both got many people talking about them.
In the first party that Nick attends, he unknowingly talks about his host, Gatsby, with Gatsby in the garden. This passage mirrors the story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the Bible after the resurrection of Jesus (Earle). Another example of Gatsby being compared to Jesus is when it is considered that Gatsby acts like Christ when he feeds the the strangers at his parties. This act is much like when Jesus feeds a thousand in the Book of John (Christensen 156). Also, Gatsby is seen as a Christ figure when Nick begins to spend more time with him.
Nick shows similarities to the disciples of Jesus when he begins to learn new things from Gatsby. Furthermore, Nick really exemplifies Gatsby as a Christ figure when it becomes clear to the reader that Nick functions as Gatsby’s evangelist by writing his story (Dilworth 120). Finally, Gatsby’s death illustrates many similarities to Jesus’s death. Firstly, Gatsby had to struggle with his water mattress much like Jesus had to carry his cross up the mountain. The mattress symbolizing a cross is very important because it shows the weight of what is about to happen in both “The Great Gatsby’ and The Bible (Christensen 154).
After Wilson had shot Gatsby in the pool, it was made a note that there was a red ring of blood in the water. The blood and water mixture is an allusion to the blood and water that spurted from Jesus as he was stabbed with a spear (Dilworth 119). It can be observed that Gatsby’s death was not in complete vain, for it cleared Daisy’s sin of man-slaughtering Myrtle Wilson, reflecting the way that Christ had died for the sins of all in The Bible. In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, it is made clear that the similarities shared by Gatsby and Jesus illustrate Gatsby as a Christ figure.
Some see however, that Jay Gatsby could not be a Christ figure. That argument is that his moral corruption, breaking of the Commandments, and the fact that he did not die for sins, makes it impossible for him to be a Christ figure. It is true that Gatsby is extremely materialistic throughout the book, constantly trying to impress daisy with his possessions, this is apparent when he is showing off his shirts to Daisy and Nick, and Daisy’s face lights up more with each one(Earle). It can also be argued that Gatsby is coveting thy neighbor’s wife when pursuing Daisy, Tom’s wife.
This does not seemed Christ like, and does not make Gatsby seem holy(Earle). Finally, it is seen that Gatsby’s death does not free Daisy from her sins, only the law. Daisy must live with blood on her hands for the rest of her life (Earle). Though these opinions bring up good points, it does not detach the allusions of Gatsby to Jesus. Though Gatsby had many things, he only showed off to impress Daisy. Gatsby gave a lot to the house guests he had over every weekend and received nothing but their company in exchange for it.
Gatsby is pursuing a married woman, but he truly believes that she never loved Tom and seeing as how she loved Gatsby first, they belong together. In Gatsby’s mind, Daisy already belonged to him, making it morally right to take her back. Concludingly, Daisy does have to live with the fact she killed a person, however, if it weren’t for the death of Gatsby, she could have been living the rest of her life in a hell of a prison, exemplifying Gatsby saving her from damnation on Earth.
There may be factors that contrast Jesus and Gatsby, however the overall fact is that Gatsby was a symbol of Jesus Christ. The author uses his characters Gatsby, Nick, and Daisy to make allusions to the Bible. Doing so, Fitzgerald creates a symbol of Christ through Gatsby. Fitzgerald makes his character Gatsby a Christ figure using allusions to the Bible representing the Father and Son, charitability, and a symbolic death.