Perception In The Great Gatsby

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Perception, the process whereby we assign meaning to the world around us, plays a substantial role in interpersonal communication. In The Great Gatsby, the world is in a very specific economic and socially active time. Although the course text explains that everybody tunes into the world differently (28), many of the character’s experiences in this novel are similar as they are usually together. Gatsby’s experience with the process of perception includes selection, motives and organization, and finally, social stereotypes and judgement. These topics contribute to interpersonal communication as well as support Gatsby in the creation of his false sense of self. His lack of identity is created due to the pressures that these processes contribute…show more content…
Self-worth is defined by the course text as one’s evaluation of worth or value as reflected in ones perception of such things such as skills, talents abilities and appearance. (12) Gatsby’s issues of self-esteem and self-worth are no exception to this understanding of self and emotion. As a result, his self-esteem issues are altered dramatically by his emotions, a social comparison and his life position, eventually pushing his ideal self so drastically to be something that he isn’t, that the self-concept created is made up of lies for the sake of achieving what he believes will win him Daisy’s adoration. First of all, the influence of emotions in self-esteem is extremely evident in The Great Gatsby. Emotions are reactions to experiences. Gatsby’s entire existence is based off of one emotion – his love for Daisy. The Commonsense Theory of Emotion mentioned in the course textbook supports the large role that emotions can play in a situation, stating that when something happens, one first has an emotional reaction followed by a physiological reaction. (12) This is evidentially true in The Great Gatsby, as Gatsby had not felt such strong emotions growing up as a child. However when Gatsby interacts with Daisy, Nick often hints that he is afraid the changes he sees coming over his friend. The physiological reaction is a result of high level emotion, and the carelessness and recklessness that Gatsby exhibits is a result of how influential this emotional is in his self-esteem. In fact, Gatsby completely loses his composure in the novel when he decides to finally confront Tom about the fact that he and Daisy are in love, and this is due to an overemotional response taking over Gatsby’s self-concept. The communication become extremely skewed as a result of the high emotional tension, an example of Gatsby’s self-esteem being altered by his
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