Would you say Gatsby is affected by ‘fear of judgement’ in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald



This is my first post on this subreddit, so please bear with me…

I need to write an essay on 'how fear of judgment affects characters' in two works of my syllabus, and I really liked the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (more than the others at least 🙂 ), so I would like to incorporate that work in my essay.

When I say fear of judgment, I mean:

"The deepest fear we have, 'the fear beneath all fears', is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgement. It's the fear that creates stress and despression of everyday life"- Tullian Tchividjian

Now, I strongly believe this is presented in the Great Gatsby, of course, I spotted a few simple examples of fear of judgment, especially in Gatsby himself:

  • He is barely present during his own parties, hiding alone on the balcony (if I remember correctly), doesn't really bother meeting his guests because we know the only reason he threw his innumerable parties was to get ahold of Daisy, the love of his life. This is emphasized by the fact that we only meet the eponymous character only very late in the work.
  • Furthermore, we, as readers, see through the lavish descriptions of his parties and his mansion and the artificiality, the materialist importance of the character; Gatsby is very concerned about the point of views of others. I could say the same about every other character of West Egg…
  • This fear is also seen during Gatsby first meeting with Daisy when he is very clumsy and shy (when he knocks over the clock on the shelf among other things). He is scared of how Daisy will think of him. This is visible during the whole passage when Gatsby and Daisy meet, but it is also visible in other parts of the book?

This is some of the basic points I have found for now on this subject in TGG… I was wondering if you guys had any more ideas.

For example, maybe it's also visible through Nick; he excludes himself and doesn't interact socially with a lot of the characters (especially during Gatsby's parties) but maybe this is just his disgust of West Egg and their artificiality? Why does he leave at the end of the book? Does it have anything to do with his fear of being judged by West Egg because he was a close friend to an alleged murderer?

I would greatly appreciate you guys' insight on this matter.

Thanks in advance ;}

Source: reddit post


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