The Great Gatsby vs. Cambridge

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 4 (1378 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Nathan Vickers
Complex Characters Cambridge and The Great Gatsby are two novels which have been dubbed as successes by critics. “An American classic” raves critic John Greene about Gatsby “I think this is the best of Caryl Phillips' novels, a brilliant story of the ambivalences and contradictions and hypocrisies in a slave-owning colonial society.” says Garrett Wilkes. These are just a few of the positive receptions these literary works. In most of these criticisms that they mentioned nothing about “complex characters” which simply means that there must be other things which make it interesting, other things which supplement or even overshadow that aspect. This will be discussed in this essay. Cambridge I believe arguable has two of the most complex characters I have come across. Emily and Cambridge though from opposite spectrums of society are juxtaposed with one another. First, I will analyze Emily. When examining Emily one must treat her not as one but two different characters as she experiences a metamorphosis in the epilogue. The Emily we are presented with in the Prologue and Chapter one is one who is a slave to her own prejudices. She is the quintessential 19th century Victorian woman who asserts her ‘Englishness’ as a sign of superiority over the ‘othered people’ other Europeans, Creole whites and Africans. Though she acts as if she has authority she really doesn’t as she too is ‘othered’ as a woman. She seemingly and forcibly accepts this label and tries her best to live by the feminine standards of the day, however she breaks them as seen the Epilogue where it is revealed that Emily had a romantic affair with Mr. Brown, the creolized overseer and has a child before getting married with the child being stillborn. In this point in time Emily has become creolized herself and seems to experience a sort of identity crisis as she is conflicted with who she was and what...
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