Double Vision in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby: Double Vision

F. Scott Fitzgerald once stated that the test of a first rate intelligence was the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. This intelligence he describes is characterized by the principle of “double vision.” An understanding of this is essential to the understanding of many of Fitzgerald’s novels. “Double vision” denotes two ways of seeing. It suggests the tension involved when Fitzgerald sets two things in opposition such that the reader can, on one hand, sensually experience the event about which Fitzgerald is writing, The foundation of double vision is polarity, the setting of extremes against one another, which is the result of dramatic tension.

The success of the novel depended on Fitzgerald’s ability to transfer the vision he had himself to the reader. This idea dealt with the ability to believe in the possibilities of several opposite ideas at different levels of abstract...
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