The Great Gatsby, Great Breaker Of Guy Code

"The Great Gatsby" World Premiere - Inside Arrivals
Credit: D Dipasupil/Getty Images

With today’s release of the latest movie adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” young guys might finally pick up this 1925 literary classic, along with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s other novels. No, of course they won’t–that would involve actually reading something longer than a tweet–but plenty of guys will see the movie with their girlfriends. And they’ll discover that Gatsby is one of the biggest breakers of Guy Code in fictional character history.

Spoilers coming, though if you didn’t sleep through high school English, you would already know this stuff…

1. No pride in his roots

The larger-than-life Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie) isn’t even Gatsby! He was once a penniless North Dakota boy named James Gatz. Ashamed of his humble beginnings as he tries to make a splash in New York high society, Gatz ditches his name, ignores his elderly father back home and invents a phony persona for himself.

There’s nothing sadder than a guy ashamed of his roots and embarrassed by his family (unless he’s a Kardashian). Though, admittedly, Gatsby is a pretty cool fake name to pick for yourself.

2. Pining pathetically

Gatz began a torrid romance with flapper Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) while stationed in the South for military training. He had ambitions to marry her, but when he was sent to Europe to fight in the war, Daisy married “old-money” millionaire Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).

Returning from overseas, a distraught Gatz becomes determined to win Daisy back. Even if this means a half-decade of harebrained planning that includes earning enough loot to buy a mansion near Daisy and Tom’s, and then throwing opulent parties in the hopes she would, by chance, drunkenly stumble over there one night. Come on, Jay, you’re rich, handsome, and there are plenty of other flapper fish in the sea!

3. Pursuing a married woman

Amazingly, Gatsby’s silly scheming works, and soon he and Daisy have begun an affair. Of course, if you play with fire (and break Guy Code by sleeping with married women), you will eventually get burned. Soon enough, Tom learns of the affair, which ultimately leads to Gatsby’s murder. Is any girl worth that? Well, maybe Kate Upton but…OK, not even her.

4. Dying with no friends

Gatsby used to have thousands of revelers at his massive house parties, but at his funeral, Nick (and Gatsby’s long-lost father) are the only mourners in attendance. He had countless people who knew of him, but he had ultimately made no connections in life who truly knew him. The man throwing the biggest parties, thus, had the smallest funeral. The Great Gatsby, the great breaker of Guy Code.

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Aaron Goldfarb (@aarongoldfarb) is the author of “How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide.”