James Gatz is the given name of Jay Gatsby. The protagonist of The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, was originally named Gatz and legally changed his name to Gatsby when he was 17 years old. Gatz, a North Dakota native born to low-income parents, decided he needed a name change to reflect his aspirations of becoming wealthy. The following video snippets from “The Great Gatsby” featuring Jay Gatsby are presented for your viewing pleasure:
What was Gatsby’s Original Name?
While he was known as James Gatz, he felt trapped by his family’s traditional, low-income ways. After reaching adulthood, he made it a goal to treat himself to finer things.
The reader of The Great Gatsby discovers that Gatz’s aspiration for a new, rich existence in which he might sit in his study drinking costly bourbon or organize glamorous parties sprang less from any sense of shame about his past than from his desire to escape from it.
Why Did Gatsby Become “James Gatsby”?
Gatz left his little community in search of a better life and eventually found guidance in Dan Cody. Finally, he considered legally changing his name to Jay Gatsby. Though Cody left a large sum to Gatsby in his will, the latter was ultimately stolen by Cody’s wife.
James Gatsby Turning Point in the Book
Chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby is pivotal because it is in this chapter that the narrator reveals Gatsby’s true origins and the profound impact that Dan Cody had on his life, transforming him into a new person. Gatsby may have had his new name selected before he met Cody but he was encouraged to make the change during the years he knew Cody.
Relationship between Daisy Buchanan and James Gatsby
Later in life, Gatsby fell in love with Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy socialite who had already created a name for herself. Considering how much Gatsby loved Daisy as she was, Daisy would have been foolish to change her name.
Despite Gatsby’s poverty, Daisy fell in love with him before World War I and promised to wait for him to return. She eventually stopped waiting and started a family with another man.
Gatsby’s Fresh Start in Life
Gatsby led a life of money and luxury when he made the decision to change his life, despite the fact that he had his heart crushed on multiple occasions. A study of Gatsby wouldn’t be complete without an appreciation of the man he became become at the end of the book, who hosted a glamorous life at his house on Long Island.