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The Great Gatsby Essay: The Great Gatsby is Not So Great

The Great Gatsby is Not

The novel has no plot to mention. … The book is highly sensational, loud, blatant, ugly, pointless. There seems to be no reason for its existence Harvey Eagleton (Dallas Morning News, May 10, 1925).

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is an absurd story, whether considered as romance, melodrama, or plain record of New York high life. The occasional insights into character stand out as very green oases on an arid desert of waste paper. Throughout the first half of the book the author shadows his leading character in mystery, but when in the latter part he unfolds his life story it is difficult to find the brains, the cleverness, and the glamour that one might expect of a main character.

The Great Gatsby is a parody of itself. While Fitzgerald tries hard not to make Gatsby and especially Daisy laughable personalities, this is where he ultimately fails. There’s not enough ironic distance to his characters. As Gatsby, at least in the eyes of many critics, should represent the idea of the American Dream, the presentation of his character puts the whole concept in question again, without being intended as criticism. This is mainly the fault of another weak character in the novel, Nick Carraway.

At first, the only function of Nick in the novel seems to be to act as a reporter, telling us the truth by telling us his shrewd, objective perceptions. Then, as the novel progresses, it turns out that the opposite is the case, and he is siding with Gatsby to make this character stand above all others and shine. Nick Carraway could be one of the finest examples of reader manipulation in literature. But his sympathy towards Gatsby is exaggerated, not so much in actions, but in the much praised language of the novel.

Fitzgerald’s book at first overwhelms the reader with poetic descriptions of human feelings, of landscapes, buildings and colors. Everything seems to have a symbolic meaning, but it seems to be so strong that no one really tries to look what’s happening behind those beautiful words. If you dig deeper you will discover that hidden beneath those near-lyrics are blatancies, at best.

In Nick’s “perceptions” of the events in the last four chapters, this symbolism is overdone, especially in the scene where Gatsby kisses Daisy and in the scene where Gatsby dies.

The Importance of Landscape in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains

The Importance of Landscape in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains

In his article, Philippon begins by discussing the importance that the landscape plays in “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains.” First, he quotes William Carlos Williams as saying that Poe was “intimately shaped by his locality and time,” although he tends to focus on the “soul” of his surroundings, rather than the physical aspects. Philippon then goes on to say that he believes that Poe does, in fact, use the physical landscape in this particular story in order to highlight the differences between the make-believe environment of the Indian landscape of the story and that of the Ragged Mountains. The author says that this is “crucial to a complete understanding of the story.”

The large part of “Ragged Mountains,” however, deals with the mental condition of the characters. Philippon sites the thoughts of another critic, Doris V Falk, when he discusses the other landscape of the story — that of the mind. She believes that Poe intended this story to be “a study in hypnosis” with a “focus on animal magnetism…

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