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Comparison of Values in Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby

The very essence of money creates an urge in human nature to obtain it and have an excess of it. When people come into wealth and begin rising on the social ladder, they usually become corrupted, and compromise their personal values. In the novels, Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby, the protagonists, Pip and Jay Gatsby respectively, believe their wealth is used for the common good, but in reality many values are being compromised. Pip and Gatsby both utilize their money in an attempt to bring the women they love into their lives. Along the way toward achieving their goal, they violate ethics, which, in turn, change them as people.

Despite the two novels possessing differences, they coincide in many aspects. When Pip acquires the money from the unknown benefactor, he moves away under Jaggers guidance and seldom returns to his hometown. In the beginning, his reasons for coming back were to visit Joe, Biddy, and Miss Havisham, but eventually he changes and seeing the people previously so important to him appears to become a chore. This is ironic because, before, he looked up to Joe, and regarded him as a father, now he refuses to see him on account of Joe being a common blacksmith. This is one of the first changes that we see in Pip after his knowledge that he will become educated. Pip’s entire reason for becoming a gentleman is to attract Estella, and make her return the feelings of love that he holds for her. Ultimately, it appears that Pip is willing to cast away his old life and friends, to become a gentleman and obtain Estella. This perfectly illustrates an immense change in Pip when he compromises his beliefs to accumulate money, stature and, inevitably, Estella.

Jay Gatsby also utilize…

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… Your paper should reflect this organization. First discuss their violation of ethics within your paper and then move on to their changes.

3. How did their violation of ethics affect their personalities? Do their violations have similar outcomes? Did their plans for winning the women work? What were the differences between the novels that determined the different outcomes? How did the characters, Gatsby and Pip feel about their unethical money?

4. Your paper could have been stronger if you had used more quotes. Quotes support your ideas and give proof to your arguments.

5. When using quotes, be sure to cite them. You should have the name of the author and the page number on which the quote can be found.

6. In your works cited, you should also have the city in which the book was published in front the publishing company.

Great Expectations: Lessons on Life and Love

Great Expectations: Lessons on Life and Love

Great Expectations is merely timeless. It is about all the things that life is about: how relatives can be loving, or abusive, how people can choose their own families; how a woman might be driven to destroy her child, or give her child away; how people may be corrupt, may be redeemed; how your upbringing defines your character, and how you may rise above or embrace that definition; and how, finally, love is a choice.

Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens, is a moral book, without any clear moral directives. Its language is beautiful, its plot compelling, its characters complex and complete. People, Dickens tells us, are not always what they seem. Not simply because they’ve disguised or hidden or renamed themselves, like Magwitch; not only because those who seem most beautiful may be, in fact, most terrible, like Estella. People are not always what they seem because people are never only one thing. The wretched Mrs. Joe becomes nearly lovable after her injury; Mrs. Havisham melts (before she burns); Magwitch in trouble terrorizes Pip, but in prosperity is his benefactor; Wemmick’s character is dependent on his location; there is a hint that even Estella, at last, is not as brightly cold as her name and nature suggests; and, of course, Pip is at first good, and then snobbish and profligate, and then, finally, good. Money changes everything except human nature. Human beings change: not for the better, and not for the worse, and not permanently. People change, then change back. Their changes do not necessarily make them happy. That is the human condition.

“That was a memorable day for me,” says Pip, after first visiting Satis House, “for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause, you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

“Great Expectations” is no less instructive for not being morally definite. That first link will change you, as the circumstances of your childhood will. It is your own duty (I believe Dickens says) to change yourself inwardly as you are changed outwardly.

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