What are some obscure themes of Great Gatsby?

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Answered by: Adam, An Expert in the Genres, Themes and Subjects Category
The themes of Great Gatsby may have recently come to mind due to the blockbuster movie, however, the Great Gatsby is a book that defined early 20th century writing. There were themes that reinforced the American mythos, the American mythos being those cultural events that are unique to the place they occur. The Great Gatsby shows class imbalance, the American dream, and the wish for equality in a country that claims to be fully equal.The Theme in the Great Gatsby that fully shows it's brilliance, however, is the hidden context of Nick's sexuality. Nick, the man we all see as the the affable narrator with little innate story, actually hides a very intricate subplot. Nick battles internally throughout the book on whether it is okay for him to be gay. He left his prior engagement, with a woman in the midwest, simply because he did not think he truly loved her. Through his descriptions of both Jordan and this unnamed prior engagement, we see that what focuses his attention are attributes that are masculine.

The undeniable truth hit most readers that Nick's sexuality was one of the themes of Great Gatsby when there is wording that implies an orgy occurs with an elevator boy and Mr. Kazee. This wording is so obscure that it can be completely missed by someone not looking for it. The obscure referencing to Nick's homosexuality may be because of the time they were living in. It was not modern day America where homosexuality was more readily accepted. It was a time where being openly homosexual could ruin any and all business prospects you had.Other obscure things that reference a possible persuasion towards men for Nick, was that in every description of a male throughout the book he focuses entirely on their athletic possibilities and the strength inherent in their frame. That along with his minimal descriptions given to females. The obvious response immediately asked by anyone familiar with The Great Gatsby, would be to try to defend Nick's sexuality by bringing up his relationship to Jordan, the spunky golf pro. However, the answer is in the response. Jordan was a very strong and sports oriented woman. Her physique being lean and manly. The only women referenced in the book fit this description. Jordan was the known golf star, and the woman engaged with in the midwest was a tennis player. He fondly reminisces about this girl playing tennis and briefly mentions the line of perspiration on her lip forming a mustache.

The most interesting extension of this theme is that of what kind of narrator Nick is after all of this. Through his eyes we see Gatsby as a man who is gentle, kind, and most of does not deserve the fate he soon receives, however, how can we know that Nick saw the real Gatsby? The 20's were a time of fake exterior motives. Nick, who possibly was in love with Gatsby, would more than likely not be able to see past the false motivation. How should The Great Gatsby be read when the side plot almost invalidates all we know about the main plot?

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