Jay Gatsby’s real name is James Gatz. In the Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is the protagonist of the book, and Gatz changed his name to Jay Gatsby at age 17. Born in North Dakota to poor parents, Gatz eventually wanted to change his name to represent the new wealthy lifestyle he was pursuing.
What was Gatsby’s Original Name?
Under the real name of James Gatz, he felt stifled by the old, poor lifestyle he had growing up. When he became a man, he strove to live a more luxurious lifestyle.
In a study of the Great Gatsby, the reader learns that it is not so much that Gatz was ashamed of his prior life as he aspired to a new, luxurious life in which he could sit in his study drinking expensive bourbon, or be the host of glamourous parties.
Why did Gatsby Change his Name?
After leaving his small hometown, Gatz was in search of a better life, and he met Dan Cody who ultimately served as his mentor. Eventually, he wanted to change his real name to that of Jay Gatsby. When Cody died, he left a good sum of money to Gatsby, but Cody’s wife ultimately cheated him out of the inheritance.
A Turning Point in the Book
A study of the book will tell you that Chapter 6 of the Great Gatsby was a turning point, as the narrator takes us through this chapter, he explains the true origin of Gatsby and how much of an influence Dan Cody was on his life, helping him to become a changed man. At one point in the chapter, the narrator suspects Gatsby already had his name picked out before he met Cody, but in the years he knew Cody Gatsby was inspired to make the change from his old name to a new name.
Over the years, Gatsby eventually met and fell in love with Daisy Buchanan who had already made a name for herself as a rich debutante. Daisy certainly never needed to change her real name, as Gatsby fell head over heels in love with her for who she was.
Daisy fell in love with Gatsby when he was still poor, before he left for the war, promising to wait for him to return. Ultimately, she did not wait, instead, she married and had a child with another man.
Gatsby’s New Life
After changing his life, Gatsby lived a life of wealth and luxury, although he did get his heart broken on more than one occasion. No study of Gatsby would be complete without an appreciation for the man he became by the end of the book, hosting a life of glamour at his Long Island estate.