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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by caroline147 View Post

    I think the name Gatsby is an ostentatious name in all cases, as it is so strongly associated with the character (who is himself an ostentatious character, ha!). It doesn't make a difference to me, particularly, if the person has read the book or not. Though it does seem pretentious if the parents chose the name after only seeing the movie partially because they liked the idea of being associated with a famous piece of literature. If, however, they simply chose the name because Leo DiCaprio is charming, or because they like the sound, then that's a different kettle of fish. I would hope, though, that all parents research the names they are considering for their children. If, after researching and discovering the history/associations of Gatsby, parents still chose the name; then, yes, that seems ostentatious to me (as it a deliberate statement/choice of signal). If parents do not research the name, then I would be disappointed about that. These are judgements that do not directly relate to class, and at most only reflected internalised societal perceptions of class.
    @caroline147, I agree that Gatsby is a show stopper! As far as being the naming police, I want to clarify that it seems to be the consensus (at least on this thread) that it it ostentatious to pick a name when the parent is not familiar with the story, but is "pretending" to be familiar with the story; as Daisy says below:

    [QUOTE=daisy451;1899830] The assumption that the lower-class doesn't know about these literary names is wrong. I didn't grow up in the wealthiest of neighborhoods, and people still read classics in school, memorized the quadratic equation, all the normal education things that everyone does. With the few exceptions that you get anywhere, we still knew what the books were and who wrote them- people generally weren't so busy that they had no idea what was going on in the world.

    ^ I agree, @daisy451, most people have a basic understanding of the classics, I don't think people, in general, consciously think about "branding" their child (unless you are the parents of "#" or Facebook. My experience has been struggling families have had, as far as this thread has defined, the "most ostentatious" literary names. I know the parents of the little boy (well, he was 11 years old at the time) Othello were certainly familiar enough with the fact it was literary, and again, not a great namesake (in my opinion DUE to the story), but I don't think his parents were choosing this name to signal "I am well read," or at least I didn't perceive it this way.

    So to clarify the (jokingly said "naming police" - I personally do not think it is my right to train my ear to think of this as pretentious/ostentatious before discovering if the parents had a personal connection to the story itself when choosing a heavily literary name. I know all discussions on the board are opinions, but I can't help but notice a tinge of judgement. It confuses me a little that the general consensus seems to be the parents should research the connection of a "heavily literary name" and IF they don't = ostentatious. Shouldn't an ostentatious/heavily literary name be ostentatious no matter what? Even if the parent has a personal connection?

    @daisy451 kudos for graduating near debt free! It is not an easy feat; I had to work 50 + hours a week, along with scholarships in order to graduate debt free - it is a great feeling though!

    Having just watched re-read Great Gatsby, and seeing the movie, out of pure curiosity, I am wondering if this was the first time Jordan was used as a first name for a girl in lit? Anyone know?
    Last edited by withinreason; May 16th, 2013 at 02:55 PM.
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