Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ian McEwan, The Great Gatsby Pages: 5 (1726 words) Published: May 28, 2013
Great Gatsby & Atonement

Explore how Fitzgerald presents doomed love in ‘The Great Gatsby.’ How does ‘Atonement’ illuminate this key aspect of Fitzgerald’s novel? In your response consider the authorial use of form, structure and language, context and some critical views. Give primary focus to the core text.

1920’s America was very much a materialistic society revolving around money, love being a simple emotion, unimportant and always coming second to luxury. This obsession with wealth is illuminated in the majority of relationships in Fitzgerald’s seminal novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. Not only does the idea of money being the most important factor in life means one’s partner comes second, it additionally solidities one’s class, meaning families are separated just by the amount of money they have to their names. Fitzgerald illustrates the theme of doomed love with the relationship of Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, Tom, powerfully built and hailing from a socially solid old family yet associating with Myrtle, whose lifeless husband George owns a run-down garage in the valley of ashes, representing two extreme classes. McEwan reinforces this theme in the relationship between Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis, Robbie a gardener and Cecilia the daughter of the ministry-employed and wealthy Jack Tallis are also partitioned by class. Consequently, relationships in both novels are doubtlessly doomed due to the impenetrable barriers of class and wealth. Throughout the novel, this theme is reinforced as we discover a consistent number of tragedies in the majority of relationships. The idea of Gatsby’s and Daisy’s relationship being inevitably doomed is emphasized with the Gatsby using the abstract noun ‘passion’ showing the obsession he has with Daisy, highlighting the idea of a Romeo and Juliet relationship, one being so in love that it is bound to end in tragedy. Additionally, Fitzgerald illuminates doomed love with symbolism describing the portrait of Dan Cody, a man who mirrors the average man in the American soceity as a ‘florid man with a hard, empty face’ which reflects the hollowness of people and their materialistic views; they solely focus on their wealth over relationships. McEwan reflects such demeanour in Briony Tallis’ story ‘The Princess was well aware of his remorseless wickedness, but that made it no easier to overcome the voluminous love she felt in her heart for Sir Romulus’ again initiating the predicament of unconditional love. This is obviously bound to end in disaster when such dispute, such as class separation and the ‘importance’ of money is involved in the relationship which reflects Fitzgerald’s relationship of Gatsby and Daisy where Gatsby is unbelievably in love with Daisy and yet we know she does not feel quite the same way, again initiating disaster. Symbolism, a feature Fitzgerald continuously employs for the duration of ‘The Great Gatsby’ additionally emphasizes the theme of doomed loved. Previous to Daisy’s arrival in Chapter Four, Gatsby exclaimed a few minutes before she was due to arrive that ‘Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!’ and that he ‘can’t wait all day’, this is a very ironic statement, firstly for the fact he says ‘nobody’s coming’ as we know that Daisy really never does return into Gatsby’s life as he wishes she will and secondly that he says ‘it’s too late!’ and yet he’s waited five years to  see Daisy. Furthermore, when Gatsby and Daisy first sit down together, ‘the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head’ which symbolises the idea of time being a very important theme, the adverb ‘dangerously’ clearly highlighting how precarious the desire to recapture the past really is. The idea that when the clock fell off the mantelpiece, it stopped, symbolises Gatsby’s life, frozen in time, he believing everything between him and Daisy will be exactly as it was, five years before. Fitzgerald carries on using symbolism behind all issues in the novel, after...
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