Helen Huisinga English 11 Paul Dolan Final Essay May 27, 2016
Transitional and Defining Moments
Within The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Plague of Doves, and The Great Gatsby, the main characters undergo one or more events that signify a defining moment and greatly affects them mentally. A “defining moment” is an event in the novel which leads the characters to transition and grow from a hardship in their past. For example, in Plague of Doves, Evelina experiences racism and exclusivity because of her ethnic and sexual identifiers. Oscar Wao addresses racism and the undeniable history colonialism plays in certain cultures and communities. The Great Gatsby talks about the reinvention of one’s past for a later goal and how this major change led to Gatsby’s eventual death, through both idealization and a lack of acceptance of the past. These characters are connected through their defining, transitional moments and how they grew from these hardships.
In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby has multiple defining…show more content… . . . And then one fine morning—So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald, 180). Throughout the novel, Gatsby constantly tries to resurface his past, never accepting his current situation. In a way, Gatsby ruins his future by constantly glorifying and trying to bring up the past. This is partly due to his quick transition to becoming rich [quick transition to wealth?] and his vying for goals he will never achieve. Gatsby’s changes in character led to his death because of how he tried to fit in to a new society and an idealized view of his past.
Like Gatsby, the past pervades Oscar’s present. The Fukù is representative of Oscar Wao’s family’s long history of misfortunes. While the curse started in a long chain of Oscar’s lineage, it later manifests itself in Oscar. Fukù’s meaning of colonialism and racism comes into play when Oscar attempts suicide and when he is shot. These inexplicable hardships result