Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby
The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald can be compared by what is valued by each character in the novel. Prestige, wealth, and education are some of the few things deemed important in each novel. In Jane Eyre, there is the notion that social status is analogous to wealth. During the novel, Jane is a poor girl who never holds any distinguished positions. As she is planning her wedding, Jane is worried because she can't offer Rochester beauty, money, or connections, but when she discovers her cousins and receives an inheritance, she slowly moves into a position of equality with her true love, Edward Rochester. However, in The Great Gatsby, there is a separation between being wealthy and having a high social status. Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, resides in West Egg, Long Island. West Egg is known as being an area populated by people who have made their fortune recently and have yet to establish social connections. Just across the bay lies East Egg, home to the upper class of wealthy people such as Tom and Daisy Buchanan. The distinction between East and West Egg show that wealth is not a sign of prestige in The Great Gatsby. The association between wealth and social status in Jane Eyre cause Jane Eyre to marry the love of her life, but the separation between wealth and social status in The Great Gatsby ultimately cost Jay Gatsby his life.
Jane Eyre comes into a position to marry Edward Rochester when she receives her inheritance. Prior to the inheritance, Rochester saw her as a "dependent," who always did "her duty" (Bronte 282). Jane even refers to Rochester as "master" and makes note of the separation of "wealth, caste, custom" between them (Bronte 282). She refers to her love for him as unavoidable and beyond the bounds of class. Rochester proposes marriage to Jane and becomes intent on transforming her into his view of ideal beauty. She resists and tells him,...
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