Comparison of 'Absolution' and 'the Great Gatsby'

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: October 29, 2008
‘A comparative analysis of ‘Absolution’ and chapter one of ‘The Great Gatsby’ with emphasis on F.Scott Fitzgerald’s style and the role of chapter one as an introduction to themes and characters’

The short story ‘Absolution’ begins by focusing on the Priest character, and Fitzgerald explains a few unusual factors about him which helps to characterize the Priest, “he was unable to attain a complete mystical union with the Lord” This launches the religious theme which is throughout the text as well as tells an important anecdote about the Priest. However ‘The Great Gatsby’ opens with a long introduction in view of the narrator Nick, depicting his lifestyle and how he came to live at West Egg. There is some similarity to be found, seeing as both begin with a presentation of the first character.

In the short story ‘Absolution’ there are a number of binary oppositions, such as the religious views of the Priest and father, or the idea of religion and youth but clearly the main contrast would be the father and son, and how the young boy Rudolph’s prime sources of authority are mainly his father, and God. This can relate to the beginning of chapter one in the ‘Great Gatsby’ the narrator begins by quoting advice his father gave to him about the strong division of advantages of the higher classes, showing Nick’s patriarchal respect. Nick also says that he and his father have in fact ‘always been unusually communicative in a reserved way’ and it is later revealed in ‘Absolution’ that Rudolph’s father Carl who is aggressive, strict and cold was in fact, ‘proud of Rudolph in his heart’ which can reflect Fitzgerald’s view on the significance of healthy family dynamics, however the mother figure is hardly presented in ‘Absolution’ the only mention of her is when the father is being abusive to Rudolph, and she does not interfere with the violence, instead after, attempts to ‘to touch his neck with witch-hazel’ he replies by making ‘a hasty, choking toilet’ this shows how...
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