Great Gatsby and Araby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 4 (1146 words) Published: February 26, 2013
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Caroline Angelini, Christine Nolan, Cassie Gallo, and Gretchen Hintze Araby and The Great Gatsby Essay
AP English P.9
In “Araby,” an allegorical short story from his compilation, Dubliners, author James Joyce depicts his homeland of Ireland as a paralyzing and morally filthy environment. The young protagonist is an unknowing victim of society’s preoccupation with materialism, and in his rush to grow up accepts its distorted views of wealth and love as truth. Conversely, Jay Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, tries to win back the heart of Daisy Buchanan through his obsessive attempts to repeat the past. In each work, the male lead resorts to monetary extremes to capture the attention of his female counterpart under the false notion that love can be purchased. While the boy hopes that a gift will win the affection of his friend’s sister, Gatsby desperately strives to woo Daisy with his bootlegging spoils. Some are able to escape the influence society exerts, while others remain fixated on vanity. Each author manipulates color and shade to epitomize the materialism of adulthood and the confusion of love of wealth with genuine love. The protagonist of “Araby” fantasizes about growing up enough to attain the love of his friend’s sister. Because the young boy believes he is in love, he elevates himself above his peers. He isolates himself in his dark attic and watches his companions “playing below in the street,” their cries “weakened and indistinct ” (Joyce 24). Although he tries to ignore them, the voices of his childhood freedom still reach the boy no matter how much he tries to separate himself. The boy discounts “some distant lamp or lighted window gleam[ing] below” on his peers, abandoning the light of childhood while he exercises a feeling of superiority (Joyce 23). By distancing himself from his coequals, he embarks on a vainglorious quest to prematurely reach...
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