Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative

Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative

Length: 2949 words (8.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative

The novel moves on two levels: Fitzgerald makes you see the magic and
romance of Gatsby's vision of ideal love, dazzling the eye with
wealth; yet, at the same time, the narrator pulls us down to earth
revealing the immorality, waste and corruption of those who surround
Gatsby and cause his death.

Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its
narrative styles.

One of Fitzgerald's main aims is to show the reader that the world he
illustrates in The Great Gatsby includes both dazzling wealth and
corruption, both of which are evident in American society of the
1920s. These work in parallel and come together as part of the same
society: the wealthy upper class. Straight away we see this as being a
contradiction, as the glittering surface impression of these wealthy
people conceals their true nature as an immoral, careless and
unsympathetic society.

This novel clearly does move on two levels. The author enables us to
look into the different worlds of money and romance (and whether or
not they can exist together), as it is not only a story of superficial
richness, but also of lost love and the use of wealth to regain it.
These themes alone are a contrast, as money is a matter of the mind
and love a matter of the heart.

Although Fitzgerald glamorises the lifestyles of the rich minority, he
also asks us to question how attractive money really is, by conveying
to us the destruction and unhappiness that huge wealth can cause
underneath its dazzling exterior.

We are led through the various events of the novel by our narrator,
Nick Carraway, who is also Gatsby's neighbour. Nick, despite being
surrounded by e...

... middle of paper ...

...atsby's eventual death.

Daisy, by killing a woman in Gatsby's car, represents the fact that
unmaterialistic people are often downtrodden by the wealthy. The rich
themselves believe that money can buy them everything, including, as
in Daisy's case, a guilt-free conscience.

An underlying contradiction of the novel is that Gatsby's rich guests
all thought that happiness rested in money, but the truth was that it
does not, and never will. For Gatsby, the source of his happiness
rested in love, and whilst the rich minority took everything,
including love, for granted, Gatsby never did, and it proved to be his
demise. The novel's biggest contradiction shows that although love is
the source of life, in this instance it has killed a man in his quest
to find it.

Kate Cockburn

Bibliography: 'The Great Gatsby', F.Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin Modern

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Contradictions in the Great Gatsby Essay

- Contradictions in the Great Gatsby They were known as the roaring twenty’s because the economy at the time was through the roof and people were partying all over the place. At the time there was a prohibition on the manufacturing and sales of intoxicating drinks. Since a lot of people did not feel like drinking gin they made in their bathtubs all the time, there was a huge market for organized crime. Organized criminals catered to the needs of the drinking public by illegally supplying them with liquor and made a fortune doing it....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
1617 words (4.6 pages)

Religious Contradictions And The 's Oroonoko Essay

- Religious Contradictions and More Although many themes arise in Behn’s Oroonoko, religion is the most dominant, that is, of course, the author’s emphasis on the hypocrisy of Christianity. For example, in the narrative, Imoinda, Prince Oroonoko’s wife, faces colonial settlers who use their religious effort in hope to justify the ‘righteousness’ of their doings, as Mr. Trefry says, “we have christened her. But she denies us all with such a noble disdain, that ‘tis a miracle to see that she, who can give such eternal desires, should herself be all ice and all unconcern” (Oroonoko 2337)....   [tags: Christianity, God, Religion, Judaism]

Powerful Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay examples

- One cannot read The Great Gatsby without picking up on the blatant theme of excess that Fitzgerald develops throughout the novel. The story itself touches on the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess. The most obvious facet of excess is shown through Gatsby himself. The novel is called the "great" Gatsby, rather than just Gatsby, for a reason. However, this theme of excess can be observed through other characters such as Daisy, Tom, Myrtle, and George....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1702 words (4.9 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- Scott F Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby (1925), captures the idea about the lengths a person will go to too change their entire personality and background as they believed that the life they previously had was not their destiny and wanted to better themselves. The Great Gatsby is an example of when a character has met their demise due to their obsession on changing themselves to what they perceived as their ideal self. The self is what distinguishes you as a person. It’s your personality, identity and persona....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Powerful Essays
1839 words (5.3 pages)

Essay about Designing Formats and Including Visuals for Websites

- Designing Formats and Including Visuals Most websites tend to have the same formats, however, some are less clutter than others, has valuable information, and user friendly. For this paper, www.forbes.com will be a good site to examine. Forbes website is a site that seems to have a lot going on, it is a “busy” site, and when you access the site you must watch an advertisement first or click to skip the ad. The design format for any website is very important and just as important if you include visuals....   [tags: wesite, visual, design, format, ]

Powerful Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby Essay

- The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby      Titling is a very important part of the fiction-writing process. It is important for authors to be careful in choosing their titles because the titles often can have great influence on certain aspects of the story. In the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the title was formulated with the intention of heightening characterization through the use of irony. When readers start to read this novel, they immediately see a man who seems very glamorous and powerful while they have already been predisposed to seeing him in an alluring light due to the book's title....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Powerful Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Contradictions in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

- Contradictions in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales There is no question that contradictory values make up a major component of The Canterbury Tales. Fate vs. Fortuna, knowledge vs. experience and love vs. hate all embody Chaucer's famous work. These contrasting themes are an integral part of the complexity and sophistication of the book, as they provide for an ironic dichotomy to the creative plot development and undermine the superficial assumptions that might be made. The combination of completely contradictory motifs leads to the unusual stories and outcomes that come to play out in the tales....   [tags: Chaucer Canterbury Tales Essays]

Powerful Essays
3890 words (11.1 pages)

Contradictions in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Contradictions in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In the play "Romeo and Juliet", Shakespeare uses contradictions both to involve his audience in the action and to highlight the important themes and events. The play was written on several different levels of understanding. It could be viewed as a simple, tragic love story but the conflicts within and between the characters give us a fascinating study of human nature. The contradictions within the text in the form of oxymorons and puns counter this simplicity and lead us to examine each line for its true purpose....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Examine The Ways In Which Lang Essay example

- Examine the ways in which language and identity are treated in ‘Translations’ ‘Translations’ is set in 1833, in County Donegal, which was soon after the time when Britain had claimed Ireland as part of its empire. The British and the Irish therefore had differing languages, so the British decided to go through the process of naming or renaming Ireland’s geographical features. In ‘Translations’ language and identity are used more as a plot device and plot feature rather than as part of stylistic technique, which is their most common role....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1727 words (4.9 pages)

The Great Gatsby Essay

- The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby belongs to what Harold Bloom tags the “tomb” of literary archetypes, a family of fiction that espouses every facet of the expressive use of language (everything from Shakespeare’s plays to Dickens’ prose). As a participant in this tomb, The Great Gatsby has adopted a convenient persona in the world of twentieth century literature as “the great American novel,” a work that embodies the American thematic ideals of the self-made man, the great American character—Jay Gatsby....   [tags: Great Gatsby Fitzgerald Papers]

Powerful Essays
2601 words (7.4 pages)