He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter VI) on Rap Genius

Meaning

“He must be about His Father’s business” is a quote taken right out of the Bible. In Luke 2:49-50, Jesus states “Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business?”

This quote illustrates how Jesus knew he was the son of God and destined for great things from a young age. The same quote is used to characterize Gatsby and his similar ambitions. Gatsby doesn’t consider himself to actually be the son of God, but he realizes that he is destined for greater things than being a poor North Dakota farmer.

The concept of God is distorted in this novel, as evidenced by Dr. T.J. Eckleburg assuming the role of God. Gatsby has no problem making the blasphemous statement that he is the son of God, because in his eyes all that means is that he is going to be rich and powerful. Religion and consumerism often blend in this story, so it is doubtful Gatsby would be heavily criticized for this statement. Fast-forward to 1966 when John Lennon claimed the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”, and you see a different result of those type of claims.

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