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Illusion and Reality in The Great Gatsby

Illusion and Reality in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about one man’s disenchantment with the American dream. In the story we get a glimpse into the life of Jay Gatsby, a man who aspired to achieve a position among the American rich to win the heart of his true love, Daisy Fay. Gatsby’s downfall was in the fact that he was unable to determine that concealed boundary between reality and illusion in his life.

The Great Gatsby is a tightly structured, symbolically compressed novel whose predominant images and symbols reinforce the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on borrowed time. Fitzgerald perfectly understood the inadequacy of Gatsby’s romantic view of wealth. At a young age he met and fell in love with Ginevra King, a Chicago girl who enjoyed the wealth and social position to which Fitzgerald was always drawn. After being rejected by Ginevra because of his lower social standing, Fitzgerald came away with a sense of social inadequacy, a deep hurt, and a longing for the girl beyond attainment. This disappointment grew into distrust and envy of the American rich and their lifestyle. These personal feelings are expressed in Gatsby. The rich symbolize the failure of a civilization and the way of life and this flaw becomes apparent in the characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story, quickly became disillusioned with the upper social class after having dinner at their home on the fashionable East Egg Island. “Nick is forced unwillingly to observe the violent contrast between their opportunities- what is implied by the gracious surface of their existence- and the seamy underside which is its’ reality” (Way 93). In the Buchanans, and in Nick…

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…’s eyes are God-like symbol.

IV. America the continent of lost innocence and illusions. A. Gatsby’s experience compared to Dutch sailors. B. Gatsby’s tragedy was triviality of Daisy. Conclusion: Symbolism and artistry paint a vivid picture of a dream destined to fail.

Works Cited

Bewley, Marius. “Scott Fitzgerald and the Collapse of the American Dream.” Modern Critical Views F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1985. p. 41.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1925

Lehan, Richard D. “The Great Gatsby.” F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Craft of Fiction. Chicago: Southern Illinois University Press. 1966. p. 121.

Way, Brian. “The Great Gatsby.” Modern Critical Interpretations F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1986. p. 93.

Analysis of Do not go Gentle into that Good Night

“Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” is written in lyric style. The poem is written by Dylan Thomas who is expressing his thought’s and experiences of death. The title disclosed the poet’s thoughts about death and the importance of fighting to live life to the fullest. The poem speaks of different views of death from different people who all demonstrated one common struggle – to hold on to life.

The poem is fairly short and the language is figurative. The poet uses simile to compare death to a good nigh. There is also foreshadowing is the first verse. The poet opens the poem with “Do not go gentile into that good night” which right away indicates that the poet is referring to not taking death lying down. The reader is given a sense of growing old. In the first stanza of the poem describe old age, “Old age should burn and rave at close of day” As you get old there is a daily struggle against death; you should fight for your life and take it day by day. In the second stanza the poet says “Though wise men at their end know dark is right, because their words had forked no lighting they don not go gentile into that good night” I thin what the poet is trying to say is even though you’re getting older and you know the time is coming you haven’t shown a sign of death you ‘re still have life so fight against death. Then in third stanza the poet describes someone who lived a good life but doesn’t want to let go “Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright their deed might have danced in a green bay, rage rage against the dying of the light.” It was as if he was saying had he lived longer things could haven been better. In the fourth stanza ” Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, and learn, too late they grieved it on its way, Don not go gentile into that good night. The poet is saying Sinners who led a bad life learn too late that they could have led a better life so they fight against death in hopes for a second chance. In he fifth stanza the poem talks of someone who has had a near death experience “Grave men, near death, who see with the blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, rage rage against the dying of the light.

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