After a traumatic, horrible event takes place, there are often further issues as to who will take the blame for it or who will sacrifice themselves for the blame. After an automobile hits and kills Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby, her husband George is ravenous in his attempts to find her murderer. Although it is clear that Daisy Buchanan drove the car that killed Myrtle, George shoots Gatsby due to the fact that Tom Buchanan leads him into thinking Gatsby is the driver. When Nick Carraway confronts Tom about this, Tom nonchalantly replies, “I told [George] the truth,” (Fitzgerald, 2000) indicating full well that he knew George would get rid of Gatsby. Instead of taking responsibility for the calamity and saving Gatsby (whom Daisy supposedly “loves”), Tom and Daisy act out of self-interest and “retreat back into their money… and let other people clean up the mess they had made…” (Fitzgerald, 2000.) On the o...
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... barn where the family finds refuge. Conversely to The Great Gatsby, the individuals in The Grapes of Wrath persevere and show selflessness towards others in the hardest of times.
In conclusion, when it comes to selfishness and selflessness, these two novels could not be more different. In The Great Gatsby, many decisions the characters make often have egocentric, greedy motives, while in The Grapes of Wrath the main characters are usually committing altruistic, selfless acts no matter how tough the circumstances are. Through demonstrations of self-sacrifice for others, greed, and the ability to persevere harsh times and still care for others, these two novels prove to be highly contrasting.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. (2000). The great gatsby. London, England: Penguin Classics.
Steinbeck, J. (2006). The grapes of wrath. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
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