It is in human nature to define ones own role in society, as time goes on that role shifts and shatters and reforms anew. Both Coupland and Fitzgerald, in their novels “jPod” and “The Great Gatsby”, explore this theme of identity through; creation of a persona for personal gain, the impacts to that persona and internal turmoil that can be caused by external influences, and the potential harsh realization of reality that stems from filling a persona.
The characters in both novels, much like many people in real life, strive to accomplish many goals, mainly stemming from social and romantic origins, and in order to achieve these goals, characters will take the role of a self-created persona. For example, take John Doe, who tries to be as average as possible in all aspects of his life. “Grew up in a lesbian commune and was home-schooled until the age of 12... Wants to be statistically normal to counteract his wacko upbringing.” (p35, jPod) John changes his name, bases all his opinions, and relearns all he know about the world, so that he can achieve a part in the social scene that he desires to join, mass consumer culture. Another example from “jPod”, Bree tries to act french and classy. “'So you're still determined to be classy for Mr. French Guy?''Absolutely.'” (p235, jPod) Bree takes on the persona of a sophisticated french member of the “high culture” community to try to achieve a romantic goal, staying with the classy frenchman Luc. Unsurprisingly, characters in “The Great Gatsby” also create personas for some similar reasons. For example Daisy purposely acts submissive and unintelligent, and wishes the same for her daughter. “... that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (p17, The Great Gatsby) She knows that in order to be a member of the luxurious upper class society, a woman must not express opinions or in any way threaten a man intellectually, since she desires this lifestyle for her and her daughter she acts a fool,...
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