Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative

Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative

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

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
Classics).

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