MBTI Type: INFJ
Gatsby is the embodiment of an idealist, who has gotten a specific idea in his head and won’t accept any substitutes or deviations. Dissatisfied with his life, he starts telling stories about himself from a young age to indicate his higher ambitions, and leaps on any opportunity that will take him there (going into the army, then working at sea, then rum-running). Once he sees Daisy, he starts envisioning their lives together—it doesn’t matter that five years have passed since they met, he imagines if they meet again, she will fall madly in love with him and leave her husband and live with him, without a shred of proof. He also assumes they will live an affluent lifestyle in a giant house across the river from her ex-husband and can’t deviate from this visualized outcome even when Daisy offers to ‘run away with him to Europe.’ That’s not what he has seen, what he has planned, what he wants for them—to be accepted and live here. Gatsby has an imagination that allows him to spin the most incredible stories, that off the bat, his friends doubt are true. He uses winning over Daisy to motivate him to work hard, earn a fortune, and then host lavish parties hoping to entice her into his social circle again. Gatsby is an enigma, never completely himself, but always wearing a mask. He feels so strongly that his perspective on the situation is right that he needs Daisy to answer that she has only ever loved him, and doesn’t understand the idea of her having loved Tom earlier in their relationship. He also doesn’t care about anyone who gets in the way of his vision of their life—he covers up her hit-and-run and thinks that he’s just going to take her and run away, since he can’t fathom having her go to jail, even though the violence itself upset him. He places an enormous amount of emphasis on being “polite” and accommodating, asking Nick what days are best for him to drop in for tea, and ensuring he feels warm and welcomed at the “social event of the season,” but he is also awkward and overbearing and dismissive of Daisy’s true feelings. He easily becomes flustered and emotional, leaving Daisy alone in the parlor to beg Nick not to leave them alone, then marching back into her when Nick points out how rude he is being. He frets over his needs and wants and desires, asking Nick for advice and help in getting her to open up to him. He cares about how others see him, and needs her to reject her husband and society and come be with him, in order to feel at peace with himself. It’s not enough that she loves him, she can’t have loved anyone else, ever. His reasoning is also irrational and impractical; he just assumes Daisy will fall in love with him, dump her husband, and set up a life together with him across the bay from her ex, without acknowledging why that might make them all uncomfortable. He goes out and becomes a successful bootlegger in order to make his fortune—a business that not only comes with enormous risks (he could go to prison for this illegal enterprise) but that could get him killed. It’s an illegal and immoral enterprise, but he doesn’t care how he makes his money, provided he has it so that he can win over Daisy. His inferior Se loves the lavishness of his parties, of an extravagant lifestyle, and living ‘high’ as well as shows in his recklessness (he drives too fast, and spends money as if there’s no end to it).
Enneagram: 3w4 sx/so
Nobody knows who Gatsby is, because like all 3s, he wears a different face depending on who he’s around—they all know “of” him, but few know him intimately, because he keeps the truth hidden from them, behind a façade. He says he ‘renounced’ his parents because he ‘knew’ he was destined for something greater—so instead of thinking of himself as the son of poor farmers, he thought of himself as a rich man’s son and set out to make his fortune, so he could impress Daisy. He has done everything in his power to grow wealth, influence, and throw lavish parties to attract her into his inner circle—assuming that he has to be spectacular to earn her attention and affections, rather than thinking he has anything to offer her more than just love. He thinks he must earn love from her, the sad self-deceit of a 3’s inner mentality: I am not deserving of love just for me, I have to become more. He becomes frazzled and stressed when things are not perfect, but also clings to an ideal. It’s not enough for him to have Daisy now, he has to make her confess that she has loved him all long — that’s his 4 wing clinging to frustration, finding a reason to still not have things be good enough, which ultimately is part of his undoing. He needs Daisy to insist she has never loved anyone else—something she cannot do, because she had moments of happiness with Tom.
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