Gatsby versus Huckleberry Finn: A Battle between the Two Greatest

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The epic story of an imaginative boy and a runaway slave adrift the Mississippi River on a journey of self-discovery, and the tale of an irrational, love-stricken social elite striving for a dream in the Roaring Twenties is the simplest explanation of the plots for two of American literature’s greatest novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, respectively. These stories, both appearing to have little to no similarities between them, are habitually not put together as being common tales with common literary elements shared between them; however, this opinion can be refuted. There are similarities between The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby on such literary devices as theme, archetypes, characterizations, and similarities on the origins from which their settings came from. The shared themes in both stories are on morality, society and class, lies and deceit, and education. The theme of morality meaning knowing and doing what is believed to be right or wrong in the midst of trials. Society and class shows how flawed humanity can be, and how with humanity’s differentiating between classes, there is degradation of other’s integrity. The theme lies and deceit being based on dishonesty is the longest road to travel. Education being a theme expressing how the different levels people have on education somehow invigorates people with the idea that it is okay to treat those on a lower “scholarly” level as if they Lies and deceit is a theme often seen in children’s books giving a lesson on the consequences they create, but instead, the authors have placed them in adult literature, for all know adults cannot resist the temptation as well. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are lies after ... ... middle of paper ... ...e west. His eyes were the first eyes that ever looked at us objectively that were not eyes from overseas” Tate, Mary Jo. “Mark…”). Not many people may support the idea that The Great Gatsby and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are novels sharing any similar literary elements; however, both have many of the same themes, like morality, society and class, lies and deceit, and education; they both have common archetypes like water, darkness, and innate wisdom versus educated stupidity; the community in one novel parallels the other (Huckleberry Finn versus Nick Carraway, Tom Sawyer versus Jay Gatsby, 1830s American society versus Tom Buchanan); and both settings are accurate in depicting the real environment and time period the characters would have lived in, thanks to the authors writing their novels based on the location and time in which they had actually resided.

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