Jay Gatsby is an updated version of the American frontiersman of earlier times. reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on the nature the American frontiersman, give your response to the above view.
This statement suggests that Jay Gatsby is a modern version of the original frontiersman. The American frontiersman of earlier times can be defined as a settler who came from another land (usually Europe) to find work and conquer new lands. Frontiersmen tended to be self-reliant and determined to take on the wilderness. It is possible to draw a comparison between this and the story of how Gatsby reinvented himself. In examining this view, a good place to start is how Gatsby exhibits the trait of self-determination.
Early settlers from Europe spoke of the New World in opposition to the Old World they had left behind. The history of settlement is broadly the history of westward movement, as new arrivals and restless pioneers sought to begin America again with their own exploration of the untamed continent. The Frontier has this physical reality, but it also has a psychological reality which has persisted long after the exhaustion of physical space to explore. It is this psychological aspect we see in the character of Gatsby. Gatsby is the very embodiment of self-determination. He came from a less than affluent background: “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.” Despite this start in life, he was proactive and began to reinvent himself: “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent.” Just like the early frontiersman, Gatsby decided to leave his home and journey towards a better life, although the original frontiersmen headed from east to west whereas Gatsby did the opposite. This slight geographical difference makes him an updated version of the American frontiersman of earlier times, although the original spirit of adventure and self-improvement is universal.