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Analytical Exposition in Response to Literature: Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby

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The two texts that this essay will compare and contrast are the novel The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald and the play Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller. Both works are based around the central topic of ‘the American Dream’ and the unceremonious death of it. However, the journeys that the protagonists take to meet their tragic ends are very different though the motives involved are accused murder and adultery. This essay’s aim is to determine whether the novel or the play best is more successful in engaging and provoking the reader. This will be done by analysing characters, plot lines and the main/recurring themes throughout.
“I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, chapter one page 22). These words are vacantly spoken by Daisy Buchanan from the novel The Great Gatsby and are in reference to her infant daughter. In some ways this is representative of her character because she is quite child-minded herself and is rather laissez-faire in her attitudes and morals: Daisy wishes that her daughter grows up to be a mirror image of herself; beautiful and ignorant.

Of both The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, they share the major theme which revolves around the American Dream, and the subsequent death of it. Firstly, the dream itself suggests that if you are thoroughly accomplished in your line of work, own expensive items and are socially-well connected, you are likelier to achieve more in life. This lifestyle is extremely materialistic and those who lead it often hold a façade of happiness and success and aren’t as rich as they would have other people believe. This is demonstrated in the novel, The Great Gatsby, as Ja...


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...nally linking the reader to the novel.



Works Cited

Fitzgerald, S. 1926. The Great Gatsby. Penguin Books, England.
Accessed all throughout assignment.

Miller, A. 1949. Death of a Salesman. Penguin Books, Great Britain.
Accessed all throughout assignment.

Alejandra Lastiri, P. 2011. Critical Reading: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot? Accessed 10 September 2011


Shmoop Editors. Publishing date unknown. The Great Gatsby. Accessed 10 September 2011.


SparkNotes Editors. 2002. SparkNote on The Great Gatsby. Accessed 11 September 2011.


SparkNotes Editors. 2002. Sparknote on Death of a Salesman. Accessed 11 September 2011.



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