Why does Fitzgerald make Gatsby a war hero?

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alevelproblems
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Just doing an autobiographical essay for The Great Gatsby and I'm discussing Fitzgerald's desire to be a war hero. I know that he gave Gatsby this quality as it was an idealistic view of himself but is there more to it? How should I word it?
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weirdnessandcoffee
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#2
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Ah I loved studying The Great Gatsby. That's an interesting question actually. I think there's definitely more to it- Gatsby, who sprung from the 'platonic conception of himself' is characterised in such a grand manner that would include him not just being a war hero, but a hero in general. He makes Gatsby a war hero because being a war hero is almost meritocratic if you think about it- you go into war, and you start from scratch. Just like how Gatsby started from scratch, being a war hero to me, is simply one of Gatsby's many more qualities Nick filters through his mind to be of prominence.

^This is too wordy for a concise English essay, what I can say is think about how the purpose of Gatsby as a war hero links to the structure of the novel, particularly the end.
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alevelproblems
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#3
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Thanks for your reply! I do agree with what you've mentioned but for my essay its more me trying to establish what Fitzgerald has said about himself by giving Gatsby this war hero characteristic, if anything? The essay is basically is there more of Fitzgerald in the character of Gatsby or Nick! These are my paragraph points I need to complete with a paragraph conclusion:

· Nick holds qualities of Fitzgerald in the waythat he is a member of ‘The First Division’.
· Fitzgerald too, was a member of those who wereto fight in World War One.
· Fitzgerald was enlisted and sent for Officertraining when America entered the war in 1917, but he was never to see battle. In the Barracks with 15 other soldiers he wasthought of as being soft and spoiled. One fellow officer was later quoted as saying that Fitzgerald was “theWorld’s worst second lieutenant” and as a result Fitzgerald’s desire to be awar hero overrode any distaste for war itself.
· Perhaps he wanted some glory to be reflected inhimself to increase his social standing and reputation.
· Hedoes his through the character of Gatsby, who during the war, reached the rankof Major, commanded the heavy machine guns of his regiment, and was decoratedfor valor for his participation in the Marne and the Argonne, ““Major Jay Gatsby,” I read, “For Valour Extraordinary.””
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