“His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people – his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself…. He must be about his Father’s business, the service of vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old would likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end ” – Nick Gatsby talking about James Gatz ( Gatsby before he was Gatsby)
Even before he met Daisy, Gatsby desired more than what his parents and the people around him had. He always had an idealistic world but never knew how to make it his reality.
Plato was a Greek philosopher who was concerned with the real world vs the ideal world. Gatz is a real person. He creates his ‘ideal self’ and names it Gatsby in his ideal world.
Gatsby was young when he created his ideal self. He idealised ‘Gatsby’s’ life and in time slowly started to change part of who he was before he was no longer recognisable. He was so focused and determined to achieve the life that ‘Gatsby’ had, that his imagination completely consumed him and changed who he was.