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Comparing Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett of The Sun Also Rises

Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett Ashley of The Sun Also Rises

Written right after the publication of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is apparently influenced in many ways. The most obvious of Fitzgerald’s influence is manifested in Hemingway’s portrayal of his heroine, Brett Ashley. Numerous critics have noted and discussed the similarities between Brett and Daisy Buchanan, and rightly so; but the two women also have fundamental differences. Compared to Daisy, Brett is a more rounded, complex character, and Hemingway has treated her with more sympathy than Fitzgerald has with Daisy. Some similarities between Brett Ashley and Daisy Buchanan include their physical beauty, their extravagant/ flamboyant lifestyle, and their unhappy marriages. However, their most important similarity is the destructive influence they have on their suitors.

Daisy attracts Jay Gatsby with her beauty–not only her physical appearance, but also the entire carefree, comfortable, luxurious lifestyle:

Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor (157).

To Gatsby the rich life is temptingly desirable because it was equaled to Daisy herself. Her life far detached from the sweaty hard struggling seems to hold as much enchanted beauty as she holds for Gatsby. He falls in love with that beauty, and Daisy has become his one and only goal and dream in life. With this, Fitzgerald is putting the blame for Gatsby’s fall–his indulgence in the wrong dream, and his wrong choice of means to achieve his end–on Daisy.

But t…

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… S. “Brett and Her Lovers.” Brett Ashley. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1991. 105-122.

Martin, Wendy. “Brett Ashley as New Woman in The Sun Also Rises.” New Essays on The Sun Also Rises. Ed. Linda Wagner-Martin. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1987. 65-82.

Works Consulted:

Hemingway, Ernest. “The Unpublished Opening of The Sun Also Rises.” (5-8).

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Letter to Ernest Hemingway (June 1926).” (8).

Whitlow, Roger. “Bitches and Other Simplistic Assumptions.” (148-156).

Cohen, Milton A. “Circe and Her Swine.” (157-165).

Bloom, Harold. Brett Ashley. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1991.

McCay, Mary A. “Fitzgerald’s Women: Beyond Winter Dreams.” (311-324).

Fleischmann, Fritz, ed. American Novelists Revisited: Essays in Feminist Criticism. Boston: G. K. Hall

Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” satirizes barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village. As the story begins, the villagers appear to be fairly civilized and carry on fairly modern lifestyles. This is assumed by the men’s discussion of planting, rain, tractors, and taxes. The lottery was outdated to such a degree that some may think that the tradition is primal competition of anthropoid beasts. On the other hand, some think that carrying on the tradition was necessary. The question that must be answered is: Was this a barbaric tradition or was this ritual an honest attempt to better other villager’s lives?

Shortly after the publication of “The Lottery” in The New Yorker, “a flood of mail – hundreds of letters-deluged both the editorial offices in New York and the post office in Bennington” (Friedman 63). Miss Jackson said that out of all the letters sent, there were only thirteen that were positive responses, and those were from her friends (63). The letters consisted of “bewilderment, speculation, and old-fashioned abuse” (63). It is obvious that the initial reaction from the public was extremely negative. The readers perceived the story as a satire on them, as if they practiced barbaric ways.

Indeed there are countless references, hints, and blatant comments that refer to the barbaric theme in this story. The fact that the lottery itself is scheduled for 10:00 and it took only two hours, conveniently timed so that the villagers could get back home to eat lunch, shows that there is no concern for the “winner” of the lottery, only for themselves. The children collect stones, competing against the other children, and keeping friends from stealing from their …

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…Although we are a modernized society, there are those primal animal-like instincts that still lurk inside every one of us. After exploring the barbaric theme in “The Lottery,” it is evident that Shirley Jackson did intend to portray barbaric aspects of stoning people in order to have an abundant crop outcome to show to the reader that these barbaric actions happen today.

Works Cited

Coulthard, A. R. “Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ ” The Explicator 48: 226-228.

Friedman, Lenemaja. Shirley Jackson. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1975.

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Modern Short Stories. Ed. Robert B. Heilman. Westport: Greenwood, 1971. 375-85.

Magill, Frank N. “Shirley Jackson.” Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Salem Press, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 1981. 1668-1674.

Nebeker, Helen C. ‘The Lottery’: Symbolic Tour de Force.” American Literature 46 March 1974.

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