The Mystery Underlying the Great Gatsby
In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald released The Great Gatsby to instant and permeating acclaim. The novel, often cited as being among the greatest American novels, is credited as such for capturing with startling emotion the sociocultural vagaries of high society in the early 20th century. The Great Gatsby is particularly compelling for the mystery which unfolds around its title character. Inexplicably wealthy, seemingly detached from the affairs of his neighbors and yet obsessed with feeding their impressions of him, Jay Gatsby is symbolic of the contradiction of American social mobility. Even as he becomes wealthy beyond the fantasies of most men, his low birth relegates him as an outsider. The mystery that pervades his story is powered by his own need to sublimate this low birth under displays of mirthless party-throwing and material excess.
Perhaps more than any other concept couched in…… [Read More]
The rapid connection of plot strands which brought into physical incidence the numerous affairs and hostilities that resolved, however bleakly, the novel's various impasses, make somewhat absurd an otherwise brilliantly grounded work. And yet, Fitzgerald has been characterized by his critics as demonstrating the utmost of disclipline with Gatsby for creating a work so fraught with symbolism and yet relayed in so direct and palatable a fashion. As Eble (1964) would observe, "Fitzgerald's clear, regular hand imposes its own sense of order throughout the text. For all revisions, the script goes about its business with a straightness of line, a regularity of letter that approaches formal elegance. " (Eble, 1) To this end, the dramatic events leading to the resolution of the text make this chaotic denouement a tolerable linear progression and an outcome consistent with the general thrust of the text.
To this end, the novel casts an emotive…… [Read More]
Uprooted from their native "bored, swollen, sprawling towns beyond the Ohio" to Paris or, closer to home, Long Island, they at first reveled in the freedom that supporting their lives on the strength of their own ambitions entailed. Gatsby's ambition was love. But when that love is finally and conclusively denied, nothing is left to take its place. The last support buckles.
hat remains after the collapse, Nick realizes, is a twilight world populated only by brute material forms without the spiritual content necessary to make them truly "real." This is the true face of the Lost Generation: no longer hoping for a message of salvation that never arrives, and "perhaps" no longer even caring. Nick imagines Gatsby shivering at the prospect of spending the rest of his life among the other "poor ghosts," drifting -- "fortuitously" or otherwise -- from dream to dream, party to party, girl to girl,…… [Read More]
Jazz Age Disillusionment in the Great Gatsby
The 1920s saw the United States undergo one of its most dramatic periods of cultural and social evolution in its young history to that point. ith the end of hostilities in orld ar I and the focus on its own internal growth now taking center stage, the emergence of a distinctly American kind of wealth began to achieve prominence. Even as this measure of wealth would become yet more prominent in America, the disillusionment thereby associated would also become ever greater a presence. So is this well-demonstrated in the primary characters populated F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 Jazz Age masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Using the occasionally objective Nick as a lens, Fitzgerald views the characters of Tom, Daisy and Gatsby himself with an unflinching criticism that seems to scold America for its burgeoning materialism.
Among them, Tom is perhaps the most unflinchingly archetypal…… [Read More]
Fitzgerald focuses much like a scriptwriter on her body parts to set the sensual stage. Her throat is "full if aching, grieving beauty told only of her unexpected joy" (Fitzgerald 90). There is such passion evoked through these words that it is difficult not feel ecstasy and agony at the same time and understand Gatsby obsession with her. To emphasize her superior nature, her face is described as bored and haughty. She identifies with other woman of her class such as the actress they meet who is also put on a pedestal of being "a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman" (Fitzgerald 106). The interesting function of Daisy's character is to fuel the fire of Gatsby's obsession but to also complete his journey of attaining the American Dream found within attaining social status. He creates her as he is focused on their mutual past and winning her attention so…… [Read More]
Gatsby and Six
Passing for white -- Both a white and a black man can 'pass'
The Great Gatsby, only six degrees and six decades separate from ill Smith's Paul
Perhaps, if F. Scott Fitzgerald were to write his famous The Great Gatsby today, Gatsby would be a Black man. Gatsby, much like the protagonist of the film "Six Degrees of Separation," the cinematic version of John Guare's play of the same name, is 'passing' for a member of the Long Island Hamptons aristocracy, just as the young Black hustler Paul as depicted by ill Smith is passing for the son of Sidney Poiter. By definition Paul is passing as a son of the new Black aristocracy of talent, prep schools, and poise, just as Gatsby is passing a member of a wealthy and class bound society where image and parentage and where one went to school means everything.
In…… [Read More]
Marx and the Great Gatsby
In the 1920s, the United States was enjoyed a new and unprecedented period of industriousness and growth. ithin this period, its advancement as a production society would seen one of its most torrid phases of expansion. But just as this time would prove the economic merits of capitalism, it would begin to demonstrate the considerable dangers that also accompany this system. This dichotomy is captured best in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. In the title character and his surrounding culture, we are given a compelling critique of the materialism and inequality which are the ultimate ends of capitalist greed. Approaching the text through the lens of social theorist Karl Marx, one comes face-to-face with the culturally, socially and ethically destructive mores of unrestrained capitalism.
e initiate the discussion with a perspective offered by Marx. The innovator of Communism warned that in…… [Read More]
Jay Gatsby is the central, enigmatic focus of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. hen the reader first meets Gatsby, it is through the description of Nick Carraway, who notes that his neighbor of the less fashionable (i.e. 'new money') area of est Egg, Long Island has purchased a palatial mansion. Every weekend, people in motor cars come to Gatsby's parties; every Monday, the staff cleans up the debris. No luxury is too great for Gatsby: "every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York… There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb" (Fitzgerald 3). The source of Gatsby's wealth is vague and gradually it emerges that he made his fortune as a bootlegger.
Gatsby tries to affect a…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby -- a Theoretical Analysis
The Great Gatsby is one of the legendary novels written in the history of American literature. The novel intends to shed light on the failure of American dream that poor can attain whatever he wants and emphasizes on the hardships presented by the strong forces of social segregation. In order to understand this novel, there are various theories which tend to be helpful in order to understand various angles of this novel. Some of these theories are Freud's psychoanalytical theory, Marxist theory and Feminist theory. Each theory presents a different lens of looking at the same story and presents an ideology ruled by social factors and individual desires.
In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway is the lead character and the story surrounds around him. He is a young chap from Minnesota who later on moves to New York. The main purpose of moving here…… [Read More]
Reading the highly-acclaimed novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, is an excellent way in which to learn about New York City and about America in the 1920s through literature. Certainly there are scenes, characters and quotes that are exaggerated and enhanced beyond what the real world at that time represented -- which is the license that writers of fiction are afforded. But the big picture of The Great Gatsby -- beyond the star-crossed love theme between Gatsby and Daisy -- is for the most part a portrayal of a slice of Americana out of what was called "The Roaring Twenties" and the "Jazz Age," and this paper references examples and themes from Fitzgerald's novel.
The Fading of the American Dream
The novel shows that money has corrupted key characters, notably Gatsby. And the sudden wealth that led to the corruption of values and morals happened after…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby: A Novel of Reinvention
"The 1920s were characterized by conservatism, affluence, and cultural frivolity, yet it was also a time of social economic and political change. The first modern decade in American history paved the way for the reforms of the 1930s. American popular culture began to reflect an urban, industrial, consumer oriented society" (Ingui, 89). The strong economic boom following the Great ar gave birth to a time known as "The Roaring 20's. This was a prosperous era, characterized largely by wealth and change. "President Calvin Coolidge declared that the business of America was business. In many ways, his statement defined the 1920s. Amid all the tensions, an unprecedented flood of new consumer items entered the marketplace, and progressive calls for government regulation were rejected in favor of a revival of the old free enterprise individualism" (Hermansen). This summarized statement of the decade best encapsulates the conditions…… [Read More]
identity of the self usually involves success. That success may include cars, luxury items, mansions, beautiful kids, and a beautiful spouse. It varies from person to person. Some people view success through self-actualization as well, having the ability to harness one's potentials and talents and becoming something more than what they thought possible. In The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Highsmith, men attempt to find success through illegal means in order to fulfill their need of self-actualization and material gain. To them, success and self-actualization came from being wealthy and living in extravagance, not from being uniquely talented or philanthropic.
Only Gatsby, the man who gives is name to this book, was exempt from my reaction= Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened…… [Read More]
Fitzgerald wrote his novel during the Roaring 1920s, but his book seems uniquely relevant to our own times. The Roaring 1920s was coming to a rapid slow-down of material prosperity, and questions of who was a 'real' American arose as social mobility had introduced individuals of new races and ethnicities into higher American society. Fitzgerald suggests that it is important to question what lies beneath the veneer of American society and good breeding. He demanded his readers also carefully examine the assumption we can all pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and whether the material goals we strive for will really bring fulfillment at all.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Hayes Barton Press, 2007.
Mellard, James. "Counterpoint as Technique in "The Great Gatsby." The English Journal.
55. 7. (Oct., 1966): 853-859.
Millet, Frederick. "The Great Gatsby: Analysis." Michigan State University. 2004.
October 12, 2008.…… [Read More]
In fact, other than her beauty and her high class status, it is hard to see why Gatsby loves her so much. But Daisy's materialism, for Gatsby, is not a negative quality. "Her voice is full of money," he says (94). This indicates that Gatsby sees Daisy's obsession with wealth as a good thing, a kind of a way to egg him on to make something of his life. Daisy is Nick Caraway's second cousin but unlike Nick, she is obsessed with money to the point that she ignores human feelings. hen Gatsby left to go to war, she ended their relationship. Tom Buchanan at the time was much more financially stable than Gatsby, and even though Tom strikes almost everyone who comes in contact with him as a rich, superficial person, Daisy loved Tom's money.
Daisy has aspirations to be loved and appreciated, of course, but between love and…… [Read More]
2. Discuss the green light in The Great Gatsby and the rain in A Farewell to Arms as symbols of fertility and death.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, the green light represents hope, renewal, and (since Gatsby associates the green light with Daisy) Gatsby's desire for her, as well as (in Gatsby's mind) Daisy's fecundity and fertility. In nature, green is the color of life: trees, grass, and other living things. As such, the green light symbolizes Gatsby's own hopes and wishes for the future, which revolve around Daisy. Since Gatsby associates the green light so much with Daisy, it also represents for him a sort of beacon leading him toward her.
Although within The Great Gatsby the green light symbolizes hope, life, fecundity, and fertility, in Ernest Hemingway's novel A Farewell to Arms, rain, which occurs often, symbolizes the opposite: impermanence, dissolution, and death, thus foreshadowing…… [Read More]
His life had been confused and distorted since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what one thing was..." (Fitzgerald 117).
He took notice to the love of her new luxurious socialite lifestyle. He decided to truly embody the life he had created to appease Daisy.
However, Gatsby failed to see the darker side of his young love. Below the beauty and grace was a spoiled and shallow brat who used her money as a shield to avoid truly living in the real world. She proves her true character in the most dire of circumstances. Her betrayal of Gatsby when he needed her most revealed the falsehood of her character, essentially showing him that he had lived his life trying to obtain something which did not exist, "That was it. I'd never understood before. It…… [Read More]
Despite the fact that this caused her pain she kept seeing him because she needed his support. She is another character who wanted to overcome her social condition.
One might state that Jay lost Daisy because he went on with his life and his ambitions of acquiring an important social status and wealth. In the end he achieves what he wants, but he fails to be happy because he is not loved by the woman he desires. It is through all the possible means that the author demonstrates how richness and social status is nothing and how failed relationships and broken hearts destroy people's lives, regardless of the presence or the absence of the financial well-being. (Cummings)
The fact that the character's emotions are intertwined with their social aspirations makes the story even more complicated and contributes to its tragic ending. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1578329/the_portrayal_of_1920s_society_in_the.html) Daisy for example was not in love with…… [Read More]
hile his modes of achieving his money might be questionable, he can know that he did become successful and he did not need the help of anyone else to do it. For this reason, Gatsby deserves a certain amount of respect. In fact, we can almost bet that Gatsby worked harder and longer than Tom ever did. If we are to hold any grudges against Gatsby, it must be in his foolishness toward Daisy but that is what makes him a romantic at heart. Gatsby is torn between the life he lives and the dream he wants. There is nothing wrong with the dream; however, what Gatsby chooses to do with it proves to be the biggest mistake of his life. Gatsby is living in the past and believes that it can be relived. Nick writes, "He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to…… [Read More]
Values in 1920 America were changing rapidly from the Victorian attitudes that preceded them, and the novel "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald clearly epitomizes these changing values. In business and in pleasure, the people Gatsby associates with are shallow, materialistic, nihilistic, and disloyal. These people lived hard, played hard, and often died young, as Myrtle and Gatsby indicate. They were celebrating the end of World War I and a new beginning for America, when it was prosperous and excessive. These new young Americans frightened their elders because they danced risque dances like the Charleston, smoked, drank, and spent large amounts of cash as often as they could. There were increasingly interested in material possession, including the ostentatious mansions of East and West Egg. Continually throughout the novel, Fitzgerald portrays them as shallow, uncaring, selfish, and incapable of real friendships and relationships. They are mostly interested in…… [Read More]
The characters have to travel through this Hell to reach the "paradise" of New York City, the place where they work, play, and show off their wealth.
The eyes also symbolize the emptiness of the character's lives. They have money and lavish lifestyles, but none of them are happy. In fact, many of them end up dead by the end of the novel. The blue eyes on the billboard are empty of life, and so are the characters, so they are watched over by empty eyes as they go about their very empty lives. Daisy sums this up late in the novel when she says, "What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?' cried Daisy, 'and the day after that, and the next thirty years?' 'Don't be morbid,' Jordan said" (Fitzgerald 118). These people seem to have everything they could ever want or need, and yet, they are unhappy in their…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby. The writer discusses the story and the plot line, the writer's life and motivation for writing it, what the critics said about the story and the writer's opinion.
hen authors write their stories, it is with the hope that someone will find them interesting and want to read them. Every once in awhile, they produce a work that is so well crafted that it becomes an American classic. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald is such a story. It has been studied, read and analyzed in class rooms and lecture halls throughout the world. It is considered one of the all time classics and continues to be used as an example of classic literature. On the surface, the story seems simple enough, but when one peels off the top layer and examines the underlying aspects of the story one will begin to understand how it came to…… [Read More]
F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" is set against the backdrop of 1920's Long Island. It explores multiple themes about the human condition as experienced through the actions of the story's lead character, Jay Gatsby, and the narrator, Nick Carraway.
I have selected three such themes from the book as the basis for this paper. Each of them revolves around Fitzgerald's core assessment of class differences that existed between the have's and the have not's in the society of excess and indulgence which emerged after America's participation in World War I. The first theme I will examine relates to the promise, pursuit and subsequent failure of the American dream; specifically, the expectation that the acquisition of enough money can buy one's way into all of the right circles and hearts. The second theme is that of the superficiality of the upper classes and how their worth as…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby and the American Dream
In many ways, the first portions of the biography of Jay Gatsby embodies the American Dream: Jay Gatsby was born to unspeakable poverty and was able to climb out of it through hard work, discipline and dogged determination. This was at least how it appeared in the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. However, over the course of the book Fitzgerald demonstrates that the American dream is actually far more elusive and far darker than most actually realize.
Consider the exchange that the narrator, Nick Carraway has with Gatsby's father, once Gatsby has been killed. The father has found a schedule that his son wrote out for himself back when he was boy, and the schedule dictates a strict hourly routine of how the young man would divide his time each day: from the moment he rose from bed, to the dumbbell exercises he would…… [Read More]
color in "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
COLOR IN THE GREAT GATSBY
Fitzgerald uses color elaborately in "The Great Gatsby," and it usually has some ulterior meaning, like the "green light" that appears throughout the novel. Many critics say the green light symbolizes Daisy, but it is more than that.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning..." (Fitzgerald 212). The green light is the whole type of life they were living. Their lives did not mean much -- they were empty and phony. They lived them year after year because that is what they did in East Egg, and society was the most important thing, you were who you knew, and what you had.
There are…… [Read More]
So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end (Fitzgerald 104).
Nick's description of Gatsby's facade reveals that in Gatsby's attempt to acquire the essence of the American dream, he had to sacrifice himself and create a new identity. As such, an aura of sadness and loneliness lingers about Gatsby's existence as he lets go of his past and his own identity in the hope of finding happiness. In fact, on an individual level, while this represents the Modernist element of the dichotomy between illusion and reality, Gatsby's character is also doing that which Modernism as a genre seeks to do: create a disconnect with the past.
Since Jay Gatsby is not even his real name, one wonders what other elements of this man, whose real name is James Gatz, are…… [Read More]
108). These types of seemingly innocuous observations are actually powerful commentaries on the darkness that is spreading over society in the 1920s, and the divisions between those on one side of the glass from those on the other.
The separation of the classes; that is, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor in America, can also be traced to jazz age, providing further evidence that this period was a detriment, as opposed to a benefit, to society. Those on the side of the glass enjoying their lavish parties and their fancy cars and their expensive clothing were oblivious to those who remained on the outside looking in, because wealth had become so important that it defined human existence. If one did not have the largest house or gaudiest jewelry, then they did not deserve any acknowledgement.
For many of the socialites with which Jay Gatsby associated, the poor…… [Read More]
Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby in the Great Gatsby. The writer examines the beginning relationship and the way it changes as the story unfolds. There were five sources used to complete this paper.
Before one can begin to understand the relationship between Nick and Jay one must have an understanding on the plot of the story itself. The Great Gatsby is a story about Jay Gatsby still being in love with Daisy Buchanan. He does everything he can to try and win her back and she is so selfish and absorbed that she allows him to make the effort, knowing she is not going to leave her husband Tom. Tom has an affair and Daisy kills the mistress with Gatsby's car. In the end Gatsby is still doing anything he can for Daisy because he takes the blame for driving the car. The mistress's husband comes to Gatsby's house and…… [Read More]
That is a lot of responsibility for ocky to bear, because the family is pinning all their hopes on him, and he has to deliver. The author makes ocky sympathetic - he is not a bully even though he wields power, but there is something about him that seems like she disapproves of him somehow, too. She kills him in a nasty way, and she makes him seem cold and unemotional when he quickly takes on the white man's ways in order to get ahead in school. Tayo is incredibly guilty about ocky's death, it is almost as if he thinks that it should have been him, instead, because ocky had so much promise, and that is another disturbing thing about ocky. He inspires guilt and anguish in the family, and they do not attempt to do anything about their own dreams, they seem to have died with ocky.
In…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald intended to create in the title character a uniquely American figure, one whose relationship to love, wealth and success was complex and shot-through with irony. Despite the fact that Jay Gatsby is certainly flawed, he is in the end a character for whom we feel great sympathy, in no small part because we (as American readers) can understand the psychological balancing act that Gatsby attempts -- and in the end fails to maintain. The skill with which Fitzgerald limned his characters helps us feel that we understand the ardent desire that Gatsby feels towards becoming successful and rich, even as we also understand that such desires can only lead to disaster. We know from almost the beginning of the novella that Gatsby is making a series of increasingly bad decisions, and yet we do not -- cannot -- condemn him. For we can, if we…… [Read More]
Myrtle is in a similar situation. Like Gatsby, she is from a lower caste of society. Her plain speech and her lack of experience with casual extravagance brand her as being a pretentious upstart, a woman who would like to be a member of the upper class but does not have the necessary breeding. She and Gatsby are similar in that they are both members of the middle class who have risen to upper class status financially, but they do not qualify as members of the East Egg set because they have new money rather than inherited wealth.
The members of this society that Myrtle and Gatsby both tried so hard to impress, namely the philandering husband Tom Buchanan and his extravagant wife Daisy, had little personal regard for either of them; so little, in fact, that Daisy ran over Myrtle and blamed her death on Gatsby, who was later…… [Read More]
The Jazz Age and Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the great novel of the Lawless Decade—the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, as it was otherwise known. It was a time of easy credit and flowing cash. It was a time of Prohibition, when alcohol had been outlawed and people looking for a good time had to go underground to the speakeasies, where they drank their liquor in hiding. To be human meant to be a criminal, and thus everyone who wanted to have a drink became a scofflaw. The 1920s was the decade of the scofflaw, the decade of excess and the decade of the nouveau riche—the ones who, like Jay Gatsby, made their millions from bootlegging or from the stock market or from both. Nothing captured the essence of the post-war 1920s like jazz, which was a new kind of music in America—a music that…… [Read More]
To Gatsby, this was the biggest failure and he was not willing to accept defeat. Though he finally realizes that Daisy's enticing voice-that "low, thrilling" siren's voice with its "singing compulsion" (p.14) that "couldn't be over dreamed" (p. 101) was actually nothing "full of money." (p. 127). The dreams of his future were the dreams that sustained Gatsby. "For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing." (P. 105)
The story is simple to read and follow. But underlying themes are more important than the obvious plot. The story reveals the tension of social class and capitalism that had started with the accumulation of wealth by industrialists in 1920s America. This was a massive time of dramatic changes for the United States and…… [Read More]
A Lack of Real Friendship in The Great Gatsby
Money and wealth may not be lacking in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby—but friendship is. On the surface, it appears that several characters are friends, and indeed they are friendly at times towards one another. But there is always the hint or suggestion of an ulterior motive lying just beneath the surface—whether it is Gatsby using Nick to get closer to Daisy, Tom using Myrtle for personal pleasure, or the guests at Gatsby’s parties using him to have a good and reckless time that they could never enjoy elsewhere. The fact that Nick ends up alone, leaving the East and heading back to the Midwest indicates that he failed to find true friendship in the novel. Friendship is about caring for and giving oneself to another person—yet the characters in the novel all seem so inherently selfish that no one can be…… [Read More]
The theme of unrequited love in The Great Gatsby
Discuss the fallibility of youth in The Great Gatsby
Discuss the primacy of socioeconomic status as it manifests in The Great Gatsby: which characters confront it with the most grace? Which with the least?
If Daisy and Jay had been members of the same socioeconomic class would they have ended up together? Why or why not? Provide textual evidence.
Nick Carraway goes to great lengths to show and tell the reader that he is a reliable narrator: discuss three concretes way he does this and how successful they are.
How does the period and place of the novel add to the sense of youth, love, promise or despair?
How does the death of Myrtle Wilson highlight a sense of something rotten underscoring the 1920s? Discuss using the novel and the historical period.
What role does Jordan Baker serve in the…… [Read More]
My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano, especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue, made me a welcome guest."(Johnson, 139) Nevertheless, this only increases his feeling that he does not belong to his own race, and his sense that everything is a bitter irony. As the hero passes as a white man, he is forced many times to listen to unjust commentaries that are made against the black race and he realizes that he himself is ironically a disproof of these unfavorable remarks and an evidence that blackness does not render a man 'unfit': "The anomaly of my social position often appealed strongly to my sense of humor. I frequently smiled inwardly at some remark not altogether complimentary to people of color; and more than once I felt like declaiming, 'I am a colored man. Do I not disprove the…… [Read More]
In the car Nick sees him look sideways as though lying and thinks "And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn't something a little sinister about him, after all" (65, Chapter 4). Nick's middle class ideology leads him to scorn those who would strive to get ahead. It is the traditional view of the underclass toward upstarts from within. In the end, he loses "love" (Jordan). The text does not validate his character as an ideal.
The relationship of Tom and Gatsby clearly reinforces the class system. Tom articulates a power-oriented racist vision, saying "It's up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things" (13, Chapter 1). This Nordic racism is symbolic of a biased class consciousness out of which Tom operates. He wants to retain his class power. It creates…… [Read More]
"(Fitzgerald, 2) the image of personality, the "self as process" (Bloom, 189), parallels that of reality as process. Gatsby's own character is for its most part invented, dreamed up into reality, according to a plan he had made when he was nineteen. Fitzgerald's novel is thus an extremely subjective vision of the world, in which the author has a very important voice. As in all modernist novels, reality is obliterated by the artistic and scientific constructions. Fitzgerald tells the story of the American Dream, and the blind belief in idealism. As Breitwieser explains, Fitzgerald's intention is to define the modernist tendency of disconnecting from the real and dissolving into the artistic and the relativist view, just like in the jazz piece Nick listens to at Gatsby's party: "terminating expression, dissevering the conduit that makes things really real" (Breitwieser, 370)
Barrett, Laura. "Material without Being Real: Photography and the…… [Read More]
Come devil! For thee is this world given..." This passage reflected Goodman's surrender to the wilderness, to the state of disorder that made him discover that he is weak and sinful. The presence of Faith in the first part of the story was also the only time that Goodman felt his strong faith in God. However, upon entering the wilderness, Faith his wife had not only disappeared, but Goodman's faith in God (and even himself) as well. Hawthorne made readers realize that human nature is in fact "naturally savage," and it is only fitting that Goodman's inherently savage nature would be discovered and uncovered (by him) in the wilderness.
Even towards the end of the story, Hawthorne continued to haunt his readers with the theme of wilderness inherent in the hearts and minds of humanity. Posing the question, "Had Goodman rown fell asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a…… [Read More]
"I don't understand, why…I never heard from you again. How can you show up here, now, expecting anything?"
It was one of the rare times Daisy's face masked its natural resplendence, and harbored a look of puzzlement that bordered, at the corners of her tiny mouth, on contempt.
"I got called overseas. You think I wanted to go? My heart, everything I had up to that moment, was with you. They don't ask you when it is time to be shipped out, they simply tell you and do it. Besides," Jay added, looking incredulously at her, "I'm here now. Things can be different."
The shriek of Daisy's cry alarmed Gatsby and Daisy both, the latter of whom rose to her feet to better shatter the forced amicability of the waning afternoon light.
"Forgive my memory, but when did the armed services ever forbid the passage of written correspondence!…… [Read More]
Nick, you are a sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent man who has the potential to learn a lot from the current challenges you have presented. The questions you ask are astute and show a willingness to change and a vast array to tools with which to deal with change. Your self-awareness and insight are admirable, and are your core strengths. This self-improvement plan will help you capitalize on your strengths, and also become more realistic about your boundaries and limitations. Do not feel these boundaries and limitations are faults, because they are not. They are part of what makes you a unique and interesting individual. First I would like to answer your core questions in turn.
What advice can you give me about how to organize my life to achieve my goals of financial independence and spiritual fulfillment?
The financial independence you need will come, if you can outline…… [Read More]
As we have already mentioned, the mood and tone for moral corruption in New York City was prime in the 1920s and while it may seem there are the rich and the poor, class distinction among the rich plays an important role in the novel. Gatsby's success will only carry him so far because of a dividing line that exists between the new wealth and the old wealth. This is best depicted with the est and East Egg sections that divide individuals according to their wealth. Gatsby, regardless of how much money he makes, cannot hold a candle to the old wealth of the community in which Tom and Daisy live. Tom comes from an "enormously wealthy" (6) family and when he moved to the rich East Egg, he "brought down a string of ponies from Lake Forest" (6). The Buchanan's home is "more elaborate" (7) than what our narrator…… [Read More]
However, Fitzgerald creates a narrative conceit whereby Carraway praises Gatsby, but Gatsby's ridiculousness as well as his charm shines through. For example, Gatsby attempts to seduce Daisy with his collection of shirts bought in London by his "man" -- the scene is both touching and ridiculous as Daisy says "It makes me sad because I've never seen such -- such beautiful shirts before" (Fitzgerald 74). Daisy is clearly weeping because she understands how hard Gatsby has tried to impress her, and how much she has lost by marrying Tom.
Fitzgerald does not censor the scene and make the two lovers seem better than they are, while Nick clearly romanticizes their affair: "Possibly it had occurred to him [Gatsby] that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her"…… [Read More]
The mere fact that these people interact as much as they do is a sign of the blurring of class signs. Also, the image of Gatsby as essentially nouveau riche, is itself a statement indicating interclass mobility. Unlike Steinbeck's story, Fitzgerald's is much more concerned with individual prejudices and stereotypes. In Gatsby, the prejudgments are of the working class against the leisured class. The work also speaks to the utter aimlessness of someone like Gatsby - a man who lives it seems, just for the sake of inoffensive pleasure, but who, at the same time, contributes nothing to the overall society. The unbelievable disconnect between Gatsby's set, and the rest of humanity is captured in an offhand remark of one of his guests, who just happened to find himself in the library, "I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit…… [Read More]
Unable to serve in the army, he too, like Jake is haunted by a feeling of vulnerability. His mother financially supports his career as a novelist, and he is highly dependant upon Frances, the woman with whom he is involved, even while he is lusting after Lady Brett. Likewise, Jake's feelings for Brett are characterized by male vulnerability: "I was thinking about Brett and my mind stopped jumping around and started to go in sort of smooth waves. Then all of a sudden I started to cry. Then after a while it was better and I lay in bed and listened to the heavy trams go by and way down the street, and then I went to sleep" (39).
In love, Jake is frustrated. However, Jake is far from impotent in other manly pursuits. Especially when he is away from Paris, the city of romance and love, he finds a…… [Read More]
Gatsby will always be interpreted as an interloper, even though some people, like Nick, have enough ability to step outside of the culture, and express admiration for Gatsby's futile project of self-improvement, and Gatsby's desire to win Daisy by making money. The Balinese experience binds the participants "into a set of rules which at once contains them and allows them play" (Geertz 450). Some creativity and transgression is allowed within some limits, just as Carraway's socially and financial secure position allows him to show more affection towards Gatsby in his narrative. Gatsby's wealth and alcohol buy him some entry into the community that he would have lacked as a poor man. But despite this creativity of reinterpretation of social conventions, of both what Gatsby himself signifies and of Gatsby's own manipulation of cultural symbols, there are limits to how much a person can break the rules of the masculine 'play'…… [Read More]
Therefore we see through Nick's eyes the ways and lifestyle not only of Tom, Daisy, Jordan and others, but also the mysterious, nouveau riche Gatsby, wealthy from bootlegging and other criminal activities. hen Gatsby seduces Daisy, she, too, is drawn into his orbit, which later results in Myrtle's and Gatsby's deaths. hen Tom learns Daisy is involved with Gatsby, he becomes furious. Gatsby is later killed by the husband of Myrtle, who erroneously believes Gatsby struck and killed Myrtle while driving (this was not Gatsby, but Daisy).
Reflecting on the decadence all around him Nick decides to head back to the Midwest, realizing Gatsby's love for Daisy had been not only illicit, but corrupted from the start, by Gatsby's shady past. Moreover, as Nick reflects near the end of the novel, the soul of the American Dream itself is now dead, having been replaced by pursuit of money.
In both…… [Read More]
In this book, then, desire and lust -- and their inability to be fulfilled in any meaningful way -- lead directly and explicitly to destruction, and even a desire for destruction which is itself thwarted and seemingly unattainable in this book. The ride on the sled does not kill Ethan and Mattie, but rather renders them incapable of desire (or acting on it0, and even changes the dynamic of their relationship so significantly that desire can longer be a part of it.
The idea that desire leads to destruction is not new. But it is refreshed in The Great Gatsby and Ethan Frome, where Fitzgerald and harton show desire not only leading to destruction, but having no intrinsic value of its own along the way. In these novels, desire is not actually the double-edged sword of pleasure and destruction that it is often seen to be. The allure of…… [Read More]
Scott Fitzgerald's character Dick Diver from "Tender is the Night" takes on characteristics of both Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway from "The Great Gatsby." Two sources. MLA.
Character Analysis of Dick Diver
Scott Fitzgerald was a mosaic of the characters he created. Fitzgerald, himself, can be found in Jay Gatsby, Nick Callaway, and Dick Diver. His own personal history reflects those he gave his characters, drinking habits, social status, and affluence (Brief pg). The life style of the 1920's in Paris is one that Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda experienced and is woven into his novel "Tender is the Night." Fitzgerald's stories often reveal the lives of the 'have's and 'have nots,' the lifestyle and near decadence of the rich compared to the common middle classes (Brief pg). Moreover, Fitzgerald always seems to distinguish between the 'old money' and the 'new,' the aristocrats and the nouveau rich. His writings reflect…… [Read More]
American Modernism and the Edenic Themes
Langston Hughes and Jay Gatsby: Different Strokes for Different Folks in the Search for an Edenic orld
The search for Eden has always had an eternal quality since the development of primordial man. At times, this search has manifested itself as a quest for a promised land full of natural resources, while at others, it has taken the form of a journey seeking social acceptance and harmony. Either which way, man's search for Eden has always been motivated by a desire to secure material and emotional well-being. Though this search is not unique to the people of America, the promise held out by a vast, virgin continent and new beginnings led to the belief that a life in the pursuit of wealth and happiness was possible here. This great 'American Dream,' however, soon proved as susceptible to human greed, bigotry, and the struggle for…… [Read More]
On the other hand, Nick is genuinely concerned for the human side of his friendships and romantic liaisons. Unlike Gatsby or Tom, Nick seems to truly understand the meaning of universal suffrage and other key gender revolutions taking place during the 1920s. He is deeply disturbed by what he finds in West Egg, in particular what passes for manners. Extramarital affairs, rather than political and economic empowerment for women, are the result of the Roaring Twenties in the Great Gatsby. Nick finds that his love interest Jordan "looked like a good illustration" more than a human being by the time he leaves West Egg.
The tragedies that take place are not simply a result of Gatsby's infamous parties. Rather, the broken relationships and Myrtle's death are symbols of the breakdown of the American Dream. Through the characters of Tom and Gatsby, Fitzgerald critiques the relentless pursuit of wealth and prestige.…… [Read More]
Gatsby had been feeling guilty for letting Daisy go in favor of him getting the chance to upgrade his social position. Fitzgerald cleverly relates to this at the moment when Gatsby is left behind for a few moments by those was going to have dinner with, leaving Daisy alone and vulnerable. This is proof that time is yet again fleeting, with Gatsby having lost Daisy all over again because of the seconds it took him to get his coat from inside the house.
Time is without doubt passing fast and the best that people can do is to enjoy it while they can. If one were to behave similarly to Gatsby and Prufrock, dedicating all of their time to the search for love, they might never come across it at all. hat is more troubling is that they will not even take advantage of the opportunities that they might get…… [Read More]
The fulfillment of desire, that is, means the eradication of desire -- by its very definition, desire is gone once its object has been attained. This plays out differently for the two characters described above; Gatsby does briefly attain his desire -- i.e. Daisy -- but also learns that, through her own decision, he will never really possess her. This dual event of fulfillment and permanent rejection is symbolically paired with his death, and the complete randomness yet strange inevitability of the death as far as the storyline of the novel goes makes it all the more tragic. Blanche never really attains her desire, and in fact can be seen as destroying it utterly when Mitch leaves her, and this final rejection is enough to break her. Unable to attain her desires, Blanche suffers a complete break from reality that effectively destroys her, as well, yet she continues living in…… [Read More]
Distortions of the American Dream: The Effects of Materialism in Day of the Locust and the Great Gatsby
In both The Day of the Locust and The Great Gatsby, pursuit for the superficial and material in the world has become their driving focus, blurring the line between right and wrong. In this paper we will look at how materialism affects both Jay Gatsby and Tod Hackett.
We can see what direction the main protagonist in Day of the Locust, Tod Hackett, will go, just by looking at the word "hack" in his name. While in school he has decided to pursue the field of commercial illustration instead of pursuing the more rigorous field of painting art for arts' sake. His friends warn him that he is selling out. Tod has taken the possibility of a great education at Yale and has decided to help create superficial images of things that…… [Read More]
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know.
A lone cloud drifted across the deep blue sky briefly casting its shadow on me as I sat reading a book on a wooden bench in the middle of campus. Countless people of all sorts and colors scurried by engrossed in their iphones, tablets and other technological pleasures oblivious to the beauty of the day. The flowers were vibrant in their spring dress and the scent of freshly cut grass wafted through the air.
As the hour turned a group of my friends arrived as if on schedule (after all it was Wednesday) and gathered around to kill their time.
"Whatch ya reading?" asked Bristol between smacks on her gum.
I said, "The Great Gatsby."
"I had a date with the Great Gatsby last…… [Read More]
teams running for presidency would have a real chance, however, they are indeed two of the most interesting presidential couples the American history has seen. I intend to draw a brief portrait of all four potential president and vice- president candidates, so as to draw conclusions on the way they would run there campaign and their motives.
Howard Roark is the emblem of individualism. As one excellent discussion based on his characters mentions, he is "never concerned with the thoughts of others. He not only doesn't care about their opinions, he doesn't even think to care."
Thus, here is someone who thinks his opinion is always best, for the sole reason that there is no other opinion. This is not somewhat I am mentioning in a negative way, for the author has a more than sympathetic attitude towards the character and he stands out as someone who is not ready…… [Read More]
Wrapped tightly in a dark blue-green comforter, she snuggles up against the oversized pillows on her dorm room bed. The shades are drawn and only the red and green glow from tiny lights on those ubiquitous little electronic devices breaks the near darkness in her room. The music is low but she can just make out that Pandora is apparently playing a Bach fugue -- or is it Mendelssohn, Beethoven, or perhaps Wagner? It sure wasn't hip-hop or Bob Dylan.
While the "cool" clique of teenage classmates (that she finally was accepted into only to eventually realize it was a counterfeit collaboration) were frolicking about at Friday night beer parties, she preferred the safety, sobriety and seeming security of solitude. She really tried hard from elementary school on up to high school to fit in, to blend in like blueberries poured into a bowl of Aunt Jemima's pancake…… [Read More]
Definition of Modernism and Three Examples
Indeed, creating a true and solid definition of modernism is exceptionally difficult, and even most of the more scholarly critical accounts of the so-called modernist movement tend to divide the category into more or less two different movements, being what is known as "high modernism," which reflected the erudition and scholarly experimentalism of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound, and the so-called "low modernism" of later American practitioners, such as William Carlos Williams. Nonetheless, despite the problems of reification involved with such a task, I will attempt to invoke a definitions of at least some traits of modernism, as culled from the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics:
First, [in modernism] "realization" had to replace description, so that instead of copying the external world the work could render it in an image insisting on its own forms of reality... [and] Second, the poets develop…… [Read More]
The myth destroys the dream because they are so closely connected and when one fails, the other is doomed. Gatsby cannot have not can he enjoy his lavish lifestyle without Daisy.
hile Gatsby makes his mistakes, there is something about him that draws us near. Harold Bloom maintains, "Fitzgerald's oddest triumphs that we accept his vision of Gatsby's permanent innocence . . .e come to understand that Gatsby is in love neither with Daisy nor with love itself, but rather with a moment out of time that he persuades himself he shared with Daisy" (Bloom). His love is pure and we can even go as far to say that his intentions are pure as well and this is why he emerges as the victim in this novel. John Fraser agrees, adding that why we come to appreciate the man is a "tribute to the further aspect of the illusion of…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby: As Seen Through Marxist Perspective
A Marxist perspective of F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel, The Great Gatsby may be interested in social class representations, together with how characters acquired and retained riches and power. An overall analysis of the novel reveals that it portrays the extremely rich social class that does not work and devotes most of its day to leisure activities primarily. A few less rich minor characters also find mention, along with a smaller share of workers and servants seen at work in the course of the story. In terms of the Marxist theory, the affluent social class denotes the "haves." At the time of the American industrial revolution, capitalists -- the people with capital (i.e., wealth, equipment, or land) -- meant the upper social class. On the other hand, the "have-nots" indicated the lower social class, or workers. In Marx's opinion, a class with economic…… [Read More]
Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby, is iconic for a period and a place where the world was caught by the mad drive to recover from the trauma of a world war. The meeting with the specter of death on a mass scale in a time when everybody thought wars were a thing of the past had left the young generation desperate to experience everything there was and live life to its fullest.
Alcohol prohibition had created the perfect frame for this post American war world: everybody rushed in to break the law. The business savvy were in Heaven: no schooling was required and the merchandize was in high demand. All it was required was the will to get to work and make business with whoever was willing to supply the booze. Money had no smell. Fitzgerald, who had lived in both the old…… [Read More]