The Potential of the Individual to Support or Challenge the Power of the Institution in 1984 and the Great Gatsby

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I believe people are in the business of believing and if there is one thing we all share it is the ability: the power to think and to dream and to hope. To hope in a hopeless world. 1984 is George Orwell’s vision of that hopeless world. The world of Winston, the tired fatalist middle-aged man who unconsciously dreams of the downfall of the system that entraps him. Who challenges that system and whose humanity is then meticulously dismantled by that system. The society in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, however, is not like that system. Gatsby’s institution is the devastatingly superficially glittering 1920’s American Jazz age. Protagonist Gatsby is the eternal optimist who is the embodiment of the American Dream. His objectives revolve around Daisy Buchanan who has a voice that sounds like money. Winston Smith and Jay Gatsby have something in common: they want more than society has provided them. They both dream of change, of improvement and they can’t help but rebel against the machine. Winston’s dreams of the ‘Golden Country’, the forgotten past and the possible future are a subconscious challenge to The Party –“Why can’t I have something better? “ Gatsby on the other hand, the embodiment of the American Dream has used and abused his society to lever himself from the bottom to the top where he now owns a mansion on an island just outside of New York and throws massive parties that everyone comes to but no one has any fun at. The challenge Gatsby and Winston can’t help but utter is an expression of hope. Winston even creates his own fantasy to perpetuate this: “I am with you, O’Brien seemed to be saying ““But even that was a memorable event in the locked loneliness in which one had to live. “ Winston’s affair is also a way of gaining a connection with the humanity creeping away from him. In Gatsby, Daisy has a green light on the end of her dock-this green light is symbolic of what he strives for, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic...
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