A Comparative Analysis Of The Great Gatsby And A Streetcar Named Desire

2557 Words11 Pages
“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” (T.S. Eliot) By constructing a comparative discussion, say to what extent you consider this to be useful in understanding The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire. Many of the characters in both of the texts feel the need to create their own fantasy as they cannot bear the reality of their own lives. An example of this is the characters covering up the reality of their past by altering the present – Blanche lying about her promiscuous nature and Gatsby altering his identity as a part of a stage play in order to alter the truth and attempt to achieve his dream. In both of the texts, the reveal of reality leads to a tragic ending for the character. Gatsby and Blanche, have made mistakes in…show more content…
“I can 't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” - Blanche (p. 60). The fear that bright light has the power to reveal the truth is a reoccurring theme throughout the play, embodying the threat that follows Blanche everywhere she goes. In scene nine, Mitch comments on this, saying that he has never seen Blanche in daytime. She makes a series of excuses after which Mitch points a light at her. When this happens, Blanche confesses she only says what ‘ought’ to be true. This doesn’t make Mitch any more sympathetic towards her and she carries on, saying “I don’t want realism, I want magic!” whilst still standing in the light. This makes it clear that it is her own choice to stay in the darkness, and reality would only cause her to suffer. Confirming this, when Mitch turns the light off again, she bursts out crying, as if allowed to pretend again, not being forced by the light to keep on showing her true self, especially her age. She might feel that the light on her face brings out the whole truth, which is too painful for her to bear. The other characters in the play feel it is not correct for her to hide the past and nobody questions whether it is acceptable to live in deceit. “And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that 's stronger than this--kitchen--candle.”-…show more content…
In The Great Gatsby, everything is shown to be dream-like and illusive - especially Gatsby’s house, which is described as “a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy” implying its artificialness, and the “tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool” only adding to how unreal it truly is. In addition, in Daisy’s surname, ‘Fay’ means in other words ‘Fairy’, suggesting that as a creature that she will only adapt to a world of fantasy, as she is unable to live in her own ennui, confined around Tom. It is possible that youth was the only magical thing they had – Daisy’s name being the only thing she has left of it and surprisingly, not taking on Tom Buchanan’s surname, whom she is married to. When coming across Gatsby, she is wowed and sees that she can still go back to what she has felt before, something that she feels is “like the world’s fair.” Equivalently, like Daisy with Tom, Stella is trapped in her relationship with Stanley. A critic, Santosh Neupane says “Daisy’s marriage has become painful, and her affair with Gatsby proved a welcome distraction” – Stella and Stanley’s marriage has also become painful, but Blanche can’t become a distraction as she is the reason for the relationship’s
Open Document