In the novels, The Great Gatsby, and the Sun also Rises, the two protagonists Jay Gatz, and Jake Barnes respectively exemplify the struggles of post war life and the battle of the old world class system in their pursuit of the corrupted American dream. Although they may seem different in circumstance, a Midwestern boy climbing the social ladder of America, and an expatriate news correspondent they could not be more alike. Gertrude Stein eloquently surmises their brother hood in arms of post war America as “You are all a lost generation” This brotherhood extends to the inability to consummate the love they have for the women in their lives, the struggle of climbing the socioeconomic ladder of the 1930s, and leaving their “friend” to reminisce on the absurdity of it all.
Jimmy Gatz was born in a humble family in North Dakota, to parents who “were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people--his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all” (Fitzgerald). With his proletariat upbringing Gatz became self-loathing for the idea of his poorer self. As a read of the novel finds out in its closing pages Jimmy was the hammer, the anvil, and the blacksmith that forged himself into Jay Gatsby. His meticulous schedule was revealed by his father to Nick Caraway after his death. His father reminisced, “He told me I et [sic] like a hog once and I beat him for it.” (Fitzgerald). After running away from home Jimmy happened upon Dan Cody a wealthy yacht owner drunk and in need of aid. After helping him Jimmy became Jay Gatsby, the man he had dreamt of being.
In the typical style of Hemingway’s modernist writing The Sun also Rises has far less of a narrative surrounding Jake Barnes’ past. It is safe to assume Jake is a man of upbrin...
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...th Jake Barnes and Jimmy Gatz’s dreams of achieving the status of the bourgeoisie fall short. They cannot consummate the love they try to achieve, fail to climb from their humble upbringings, and leave Nick and Cohn, as well as the reader, in the wake of seeing the error in the pursuit. This post war struggle is a representation of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. Both deluded in dreams that seem achievable but in reality the war and the upper class gave them no chance. As Jake eloquently put at the end of the novel with Brett reminiscing how "we could have had such a damned good time together." Jake responds "Isn 't it pretty to think so?” (Hemingway) Fighting against the ever present clock of life both conclude with the women they love forever out of reach as they “beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” lost in the war.
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