Ib English Paper 2

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Danika Hazard
Period 2
3/21/13
Mock Paper 2

Themes are very important in literature. They can be reflected in one’s life and although Jane Austen and F. Scott Fitzgerald have more than 100 years separating their lives, they treat some themes very similarly in their novels. The themes of love, wealth and change are very universal and relatable themes and in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and they are displayed and treated in similar ways.

In both novels there has been a renewed love between two of the characters. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy and Mr. Gatsby were in love when they were young. Mr. Gatsby went overseas for WWI and Daisy got tired of waiting for him to return. Instead, she settled for Tom, a rich and proud man. When Gatsby returned, he did all he could to impress and win Daisy back. It worked and Daisy became immediately consumed with infatuation. Similarly, in Pride and Prejudice,Jane and Mr. Bingley fall in love upon his visit to Hertfordshire. Jane is expectant of a marriage, but when business calls him away to London, she receives news that he does not plan on returning. Mr. Bingley was just as much in love with Jane but his loyal friend convinced him that her feelings toward him were ingenious and apathetic. After many months of heartbreak, they are reunited and Mr. Bingley becomes aware of her true feelings. At last they are married and filled with happiness. However, not all relationships in these two novels have the same reciprocity.

Fitzgerald and Austen both recognize the complexity of love and exemplify this through the relationships of many characters in both novels. In Pride and Prejudice, there is much persuasion for certain characters to be together, but love intervenes. Miss Bingley is determined to marry the wealthy friend of her brother, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy, though, has been prearranged by his aunt to marry his cousin, Miss De Bourgh. Through all of this love defeats all and he ends up with Elizabeth, who at first, had no intention to ever marry such a man. In The Great Gatsby, a much more extensive love chain takes place. Mr. Gatsby loves Daisy and she loves him back, but she is married to Tom, and although she denies it at one point, loves him too. Tom, in the meantime, is too involved with his mistress to show Daisy how much he actually cares for her. His love for his “woman” Myrtle is really more of a lust because she is just the shiny toy on the side. Myrtle is married to a man who is crazy for her, but she cannot share his same feelings and so flees to Tom to do what her husband can’t. However, not all the characters are so conflicted in their feeling as Tom and Daisy are.

Convenience is another reason for affection in these two novels and many relationships in society today. Nick Carraway, the observant narrator, starts to develop feelings for Daisy’s friend Jordan simply because it is convenient and she is around all the time. They do not have a deep and meaningful love, but rather a casual affection that allows occasional dates and entertainment. This convenient relationship is addressed similarly by Jane Austen with her characters Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas. Mr. Collins has come to Longbourne for the sole purpose of marrying one of Mr. Bennet’s daughters. He proposed to Elizabeth, the only duaghter he belives to be a suitable wife besides Jane, who was already involved. When he is denied by Elizabeth, he quickly resorts to the Bennets neighbor who so desperately wants to marry before she is too old. Mr. Collins and Charlotte may not be the happiest couple, but they both were in search of a spouse and it was convenient to be together based on their current situations.

Another theme that Austen and Fitzgerald treat similarly is wealth. Both novels mock the societal flaws of the upper class. The separation of social classes can be seen very prominently in both novels. In Pride and Prejudice, it is frowned upon to make your fortune...
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