Great Gatsby Compared to Richard Cory

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“Richard Cory” written by Edwin Arlington Robinson is about a man who appears to be admirable on the exterior but no one is familiar with his interior, which is suffering badly. The narrator talks Richard Cory up by stating, he was "richer than a king,"(line 9) "admirably schooled,"(line 10) "we thought that he was everything to make us wish that we were in his place."(lines 11-12) Until an abrupt ending to the poem, "one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head."(lines 15-16) This poem makes one think about true happiness and what it entails. From the outside one may appear to have everything but happiness does not come from wealth, it comes from within ones self and the narrator didn't take the time to really get to know Richard Cory enough to observe his inner thoughts. The novel The Great Gatsby is very similar in this way. There are obvious parallels in theme and subject from the poem “Richard Cory” and the book The Great Gatsby, such as position, true happiness, carelessness and the American Dream. I think the word that can sum up many of the themes in The Great Gatsby is position. The word encompasses themes like class, wealth, social standing, and others. Gatsby's whole life is spent trying to attain money and status so that he can reach a certain position in life. That theme is similar to the theme of the poem “Richard Cory”, the factory workers, the lower class like Gatsby, look up to Richard Cory, the upper class like Tom and Daisy, and you are given a sense that they would do anything to be in his place or at least even with him in class and social stature. Daisy and Tom show how people can use their position to look down on others and live their life carelessly. As Nick says about Daisy, "in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged."(page 17) It is this that allows them to do whatever they...
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