This thesis investigates what memes of the 2013 film The Great Gatsby do to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel within the digital landscape. Meme images of The Great Gatsby began becoming popular on Tumblr.com. Typically they consist of often humorous text that incorporates an image from the 2013 movie in order to elevate the text into a communally shared in-joke. For example, the use of the "Jay Gatsby raising a glass" meme is commonly used on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr even ten years after the fandom's creation. In the film, the imagery is used to introduce Jay Gatsby to Nick Carraway, however, through the use of memes the meaning warps to whatever the creator wishes. Often the meme is used to convey raising one's glass to a bad idea. This paper examines memes as "kitsch" and considers the negatives and positives of commodifying classic literature. This paper looks at memes through the lens of adaptation studies in order to find out how the "memefication" of classic lit affects its legacy.
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Bishop, Louise Kane
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Literary, Cultural & Textual Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Alvarez, Sabrina, "Gatsby Revived Through Memes" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1866.