When And Why Did Gatsby Change His Name?

In chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby, readers learn that Jay Gatsby is not his real name. He was born with the name Jay Gatz and hails from a humble family in North Dakota, which he does not consider his own. Gatsby drops out of St. Olaf after two weeks and meets Dan Cody while working at Lake Superior. Cody takes Gatsby on board as his assistant and Gatsby falls in love with the luxurious lifestyle. Cody teaches Gatsby everything he knows and gives him a new name and a new life. Gatsby changes his name to cover up his past and to try and achieve his American dream. Throughout the book, readers discover that “Jay Gatsby” is a created identity, made by Gatsby to escape his past. However, no matter how hard one tries to run away from the past, it always finds its way back. Gatsby cannot recreate the past, no matter how much money he has or how much he spoils Daisy with riches. He is described as the most successful character, yet he still struggles with the fact that he cannot go back and rewrite the past with him and Daisy in it.


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