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The Different Faces of Narcissism: A Psychoanalytic Reading of The Great Gatsby and The Picture of Dorian Gray
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Narcissismens Olika Ansikten : En Psykoanalytisk Läsning av Den Store Gatsby och Dorian Grays Porträtt (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to perform a comparative psychoanalytic reading of The Great Gatsby (1925) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) in terms of the titular characters’ narcissistic behavior. My claim is that Jay Gatsby and Dorian Gray can be seen as different depictions of narcissism. Literary critics in previous research characterized Gatsby and Gray as narcissists, but, there has not been a comparison between the two with focus on their narcissism. Gatsby and Gray display crucial differences which suggests that they portray narcissism in different ways. Theodore Millon identified four subtypes of the original narcissistic personality in order to better identify different types of narcissists. My aim is to use his subtypes to identify, and provide the causes and effects of Gatsby’s and Gray’s particular narcissistic behavior. My analysis indicates that Gatsby can be seen as a fictional illustration of the unprincipled and compensatory narcissist while Gray can be viewed as a fictional characterization of the amorous narcissist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 18 p.
Keyword [en]
The Great Gatsby, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jay Gatsby, Dorian Gray, Narcissism, Psychoanalytic literary criticism
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39762OAI: diva2:901000
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher education
Available from: 2016-02-08 Created: 2016-02-05 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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