Comparison of The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire

1095 Words5 Pages
In the novel The Great Gatsby and the play A Streetcar Named Desire the main characters James Gatsby and Blanche Dubois have a lengthy search for love. Both characters go about their search in similar and different ways. The characters choose illusion over reality, but the way in which they go about it differs. Also in an attempt to impress, both characters try and “buy” love by using material possessions to attract people to them. Although Gatsby and Blanche devote a lot of their lives to finding true love, their searching leaves them unsuccessful.
Gatsby and Blanche are blinded by their own pasts. Gatsby decides to live in a constant fantasy that he will get Daisy back. He is not willing to accept that she is married and loves another man. This is shown through this quote "he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward- and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock."(Fitzgerald 25; 1) This quote shows the reader that Gatsby looks at the beacon as a beacon of hope, but really he is just fighting reality. There is great distance between Daisy and his dock. She doesn’t even truly know where he is. He is trembling because he knows the distance, but he will not accept it, and in an attempt to justify it to himself he outstretches his arms to the sea and to Daisy. Gatsby can not escape his past, it is what has driven him to be successful and now he wants what will complete him, and that is Daisy. He purchased the house in West Egg, so he was directly across the sound from Daisy and it made him feel close to her. Similarly in A Streetcar Named Desire on...

... middle of paper ...

...hey needed to be happy was love. They both went at attaining love in similar and different ways. In the end though Gatsby was able to realize that he would not be with Daisy and he accepted reality, but Blanche was still left trying to live in a fantasy. They would never get their first true loves, and due to that they both lost a great amount. Gatsby lost the ultimate; he lost his life because of Daisy. Blanche lost the respect of all those who loved her, and was in the end sent to a mental hospital because she had lied so much, and when she finally told the truth it was unbelievable. Ultimately Gatsby and Blanche were both unsuccessful in their search for love.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (The New Folger Library Shakespeare). Simon & Schuster; New Folger Edition, 2003.
Open Document