Similarities between First Party at Ken Keseys with Hells Angels and the Great Gatsby

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In both Allen Ginsberg’s poem “First Party at Ken Keseys with Hells Angels” and Chapter 3 of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, there are scenes of an exclusive, extravagant, fun party. Both writers employ a series of literary techniques in order to help convey their theme. The use of characterization and establishment of the setting of their parties in both works help depict a common theme that everything is not as it seems. This is shown in Kesey’s poem through his imagery when establishing the setting and his characterization of the partygoers. In The Great Gatsby, the setting shows a lot of the partygoers, but the way the author characterizes Jay Gatsby, the host, strongly reinforces the theme. Upon reading the poem and the chapter there are many parallels between the two when the way the author establishes the setting is analyzed. For one, they both have guests entertain by a prime party location better seen as “the huge wooden house” or “Gatsby’s mansion”. Having a large venue allows there to be lots of guests which is another attribute to these parties. When it becomes evident in the poem that some of the partygoer’s don’t belong, the theme is strongly reinforced. It states that “children sleeping softly in their bedroom bunks.” From the description of the party, with all its drugs and alcohol and loud music, this is not a space for children. This could be an explanation for the presence of “4 police cars parked outside the painted gate.” This contributes to the whole idea that things have gone awry, and that the police had to come in to deal with it. This fact reveals a dark side to scenario created in the poem, and shows that everything is not as it seems. In The Great Gatsby, as Nick watches Gatsby’s parties closer, he realizes that “people were not invited—they went there”, revealing a different side to this scenario. The fact that people just show up willingly to his parties means that there is an alternate motive involved in this...
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