Throughout two of F Scott Fitzgerald's books, ‘The Great Gatsby' and ‘Tender is the Night', comparisons can be made between the themes that are dealt with in each book.
These themes that are portrayed, include materialism, the corruption of dreams and idealism, which all come under the larger theme of searching for human fulfilment.
Materialism is a theme that is very common through both of the books. In ‘The Great Gatsby' we are constantly seeing characters living a hedonistic lifestyle, where the importance of reaching their full potential is over-shadowed by the trend to live life to the fullest by the partying constantly and having fun.
Many character's in ‘The Great Gatsby could be labelled as being materialistic. Tom, Daisy, Jordan and Myrtle all seem to value materialistic possessions. They all believe that success comes from the way you appear to others and how much money you have in you wallet.
An example of when a character does something solely to keep up appearances, is when Myrtle says to Tom as they are driving past a man selling dogs ‘I want one of those dogs', she says "I want one of those for the apartment'. This comment shows her irresponsible behaviour towards possessions as well as her need to give a certain image to others.
In "Tender is the Night', although not as obvious, materialism is also a major aspect to the book. The initial description of the characters lazing around on the shore of the French Riviera without any sign of direction in their lives, shows that the character's within ‘Tender is the Night' are also very hedonistic. Abe North's drinking problem symbolised that lack of direction in life, and Mrs McKisco's somewhat ‘nosy' attitude shows that the character's had very little to do.
Many times through the book, you find that Dick and Nicole have returned to the French Riviera or are in some other part of the world relaxing and having a great time. The difference between Dick and Nicole and the corrupt character's in ‘The Great Gatsby' however, is that they believe that they are doing something. Dick is constantly talking about the book that he is wri...
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...t' we have the reference of Dick saying at specific times ‘Do you mind if I pull down the curtain?' This represents the fact that Dick doesn't want to ‘see' anything that could change his opinion about someone or something. Dick has a very straight forward life and always expects himself to be the one with the power. When this isn't the case, he doesn't want to know about it. An example of his use of this phrase is when he hears about Rosemary on the train with another man. He can't accept the fact that she isn't as innocent as he first perceived her to be, and therefore says this so that he doesn't have to accept the truth and can simply continue his relationship with the ‘innocent' girl that he has.
Although not obvious at first, it is quite apparent that both of these books contain similar themes. Looking at the story lines, it is hard to imagine that these two books are actually similar at all. But after closer observations, you can start to notice the subtle similarities between the characters, the settings and even the language that F Scott Fitzgerald writes.
Overall, both these books are able to teach us lessons in life about morality and the importance of having dreams.
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