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The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.

What does Nick’s description of Gatsby above suggest about the kind of person Gatsby pretends to be?


Gatsby has invented a new identity, through which he pretends to be pious and moral, as though he were a religious figure such as a saint.


Gatsby reinvented himself when he was very young. His transformation from Jimmy Gatz to Jay Gatsby is being compared to a virgin birth. The result was that his ideas of how to be an adult are skewed and somewhat vulgar, as they are not influenced by an older, wiser parent.


Gatsby’s appearance in West Egg was so sudden that it could be compared to an act of God. When he arrived he was like no one anyone had ever seen before.


Gatsby is so invested in whom he pretends to be that it would be impossible to discover his real identity. He wants people to believe he simply sprang into being one day, from nowhere and out of nothing.


Gatsby harbors deep resentment for his parents, especially his father, and makes every effort to distance himself from any association from the person he once was.

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