Who Is Trimalchio and What Is His Relation to Gatsby?


Quick Answer

Trimalchio is a character from the Roman novel, "Satyricon," whose life is parallel to Jay Gatsby, the protagonist of the novel, "The Great Gatsby." Trimalchio was written by Petronius, while the character of Gatsby is penned by the famous author, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

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Full Answer

Hailed by the literary circle as the masterpiece of Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby" was not well-received by critics and reviewers alike, when it was first published, in 1925. Fitzgerald's previous novels were considered inferior and flawed compared to the literary giants of his time, such as H.L. Mencken. However, another prominent author, T.S. Eliot, praised Fitzgerald's latest novel and lauded "The Great Gatsby" as reminiscent of a Henry James classic. In modern times, the novel has risen in stature as one of the greatest American novels in literature that epitomizes the proverbial American Dream.

Fitzgerald's story underwent several revisions, before it came out in printed form. Two of its initial titles were "Trimalchio" and "Trimalchio in West Egg." Fitzgerald re-titled the novel, following the advise his friend, Perkins.

In the story "The Great Gatsby," the plot revolves around the enigmatic Gatsby, whose lucrative lifestyle includes throwing lavish parties for his various visitors. This wanton display of wealth mirrors that of Trimalchio in "Satyricon."

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