F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" Comparison and Contrasted with Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice

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The reading of other texts contributes to creating meaning for other texts. An example of this is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this novel is more easily understood when it is compared and contrasted to other literature works, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The aspects of the two novels that can be compared and contrasted are the plot development, characterisation, setting, narrative point of view, writer's context and themes and issues.

The plot of Pride and Prejudice is about a lower upper class woman in the 18th century who is trying to get all of her daughters married to wealthy men. Jane, Mrs Bennet's oldest daughter falls in love with the handsome and wealthy Bingley. But Bingley's sister and best friend Darcy try to pull them apart. Darcy is a very proud and arrogant character, who Elizabeth hates because of his involvement in her sisters heartbreak. Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth and she then ends up falling in love Darcy, which results in them both getting married as well as Jane and Bingley. The plot of The Great Gatsby is about a young man, Nick Carraway who moves to New York where the occupants are obsessed with wealth and status in the Jazz age of the 1920's. Nick meets Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man who is trying to win back his love Daisy. She is now unfortunately married to wealthy and arrogant Tom Buchanan. Gatsby reunites with Daisy but shortly after he is murdered by Tom's mistress's husband, who mistakes him as his late wife's killer. After Gatsby is killed Tom and Daisy flee, and Nick is left to pick up all of the pieces. The similarities between the plot developments of the two novels are that the protagonists are both looking for love, in a society that is ruled by wealth and status. The differences are that The Great Gatsby has a bittersweet ending and in Pride and Prejudice all of the conflicts are resolved and everyone ends up been happy. This is because Pride and Prejudice is a satirical piece of work and The Great Gatsby is more a dramatic novel .In The Great Gatsby the reader is able to learn how emotions can disillusion people and this idea of understanding also flows in Pride and Prejudice and is one of the main conflicts in the plot. The characters also contribute to the plot through their characterisation.

In Pride and Prejudice the dramatic method of characterisation is used. Austen has used the ‘show me don't tell me' approach to her work. Characters are revealed through their dialogue, actions and responses. For Example Darcy's character is revealed through comments that other people make "He is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited, that there was no enduring him…I quite detest the man". Only the main characters such as Darcy and Elizabeth are complex and are able to develop and change their own opinions and views. All of the other characters do not develop or change throughout the novel and they are stereotyped to fit the roles that they are given. In comparison the characters in The Great Gatsby are also simple flat characters. The only complex character is Nick who is able to make his own judgement about morals and voice his own opinions. For example this is how nick describes Tom when he first meets him ‘two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.' The contrast between the protagonist's and lesser characters emphasises the themes and issues that both writers are trying to portray. By understanding how F. Scott Fitzgerald uses this unique contrasting, the reader is able to readily identify how Jane Austen used the same device. F. Scott Fitzgerald makes use of the discursive method of characterisation in The Great Gatsby, which contrasts Austen's method of characterization. Nick describes the characters and he makes many comments about their personalities and actions. The setting that the characters live in...
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