Gatsby's Mentors: Queer Relations between Love and Money in the Great Gatsby

By Froehlich, Maggie Gordon | The Journal of Men's Studies, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Gatsby's Mentors: Queer Relations between Love and Money in the Great Gatsby


Froehlich, Maggie Gordon, The Journal of Men's Studies


The HBO series Entourage, which premiered in 2004, is a show about men's friendships. Ostensibly based on the experience of executive producer Mark Wahlberg, it has at its center movie star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) and a group of his friends from Queens, New York who moved west with him and support his career. Centering on life in Los Angeles and the business of entertainment, Entourage illuminates the economics of the film industry. The series began with each of Vince's friends performing some kind of personal service: Eric (Kevin Connolly) as his manager, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), as his driver, and half-brother Johnny "Drama" (Kevin Dillon) as his personal chef-all of them living with Vince in his palatial Beverly Hills homes. (1) The series itself focuses on the "business" of the men's lives, as each strives to become independent of Vince: E. takes on additional clients, Turtle pursues entrepreneurial ventures, and Drama reignites his own acting career.

Oddly, for a show about the life of an actor, Entourage almost never shows Vince acting. Instead the show follows Vince as he does the work associated with movie stardom that is ancillary to acting itself: promoting movies, reading scripts, campaigning for roles, and so on. Each season begins with Vince having just completed a project. Sometimes the viewer learns quite a bit about a film, perhaps even seeing a trailer or clips, as is the case with Queens Boulevard and Medellin. In the fifth season, Vince and his team scramble to get him any kind of role at all after the spectacular failure of the Pablo Escobar biopic. In the last minutes of the finale comes a stunning, unexpected offer from Martin Scorcese to have Vince star in his next production. The sixth season opens with Vince's career revitalized, but the viewer learns almost nothing about the film except its title: Gatsby.

Of course, the title is all we need. (2) F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is also a story about the pursuit of the American Dream. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of a summer among the wealthy and privileged; a stockbroker of limited means, Nick socializes with his cousin Daisy and her wealthy husband Tom Buchanan (with whom Nick graduated from Yale); Daisy's girlhood friend, professional golfer Jordan Baker; and his Long Island neighbor, Jay Gatsby, a host of raucous parties in the fictitious "West Egg." Nick, Jordan, Gatsby, and Daisy plot to have Daisy leave Tom for Gatsby. The plan is thwarted when Tom's mistress Myrtle is killed by Gatsby's car (driven, Nick believes, by Daisy), an event which leads her husband, Tom's mechanic, George, to murder Gatsby. As narrator, Nick is less focused on this romance plot than on Gatsby himself and what Gatsby can teach him about his own situation. Nick has come East, he tells us at the start of the novel, to learn the bond business; later he indicates that he's also in New York so that he may enjoy the company of men and to escape the increasing social expectations back in the Midwest, where he is being cajoled to marry. As it unfolds for Nick, Gatsby's story--his road to West Egg and to the wealth, power, and privilege he enjoys there--is about coming to terms with an American social order delimited by patriarchal capitalism in which there is little possibility for authentic love or desire separate from the economic realm.

Like Entourage, The Great Gatsby is a story about the achievement of the American Dream through entrre into a world of men, but in Fitzgerald's critique, men's relationships consist of political and business connections--and especially of the mentoring of young men by older men--rather than friendship or love. In telling this story Fitzgerald draws on two powerful cultural myths about how boys become men and thereby gain access to wealth, power, and privilege: the Horatio Alger story and Petronius's Satyricon (or, more accurately, the story of Trimalchio). These allusions establish a context for Nick's telling of Gatsby's story and thus, too, for Fitzgerald's critique. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Gatsby's Mentors: Queer Relations between Love and Money in the Great Gatsby
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.