How are Holden Caulfield and Jay Gatsby characterized as existential heroes and used to emphasize the motif of isolation in novels The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby?
1. Intro/ background
Highlighting the luscious American lifestyle, these novels both take place in New York City. The Great Gatsby during the roaring 20’s and The Catcher in the Rye during post World War II era. Both of these time frames in this vast city boasted a prosperous, thriving culture and was the embodiment of the American Dream itself. These novels, however, show us a different side of America, the isolation, and the utter meaningless of life, the same from one path to another. This absurdity is depicted from two vastly opposite point of views. Fitzgerald and Salinger each portray their protagonist as an existential hero to emphasize the isolation and fragmented state of the rich culture and American society beneath the surface. Fitzgerald depicts Gatsby as a likable and more idealistic character and a hopeless romantic pursuing Daisy even though; she has already picked Tom over him. While we do not see the inner thoughts and emotions from Gatsby as often as with Holden, due to Nick being the narrator, the center of the fragmented society and the novel is, without doubt, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby also is surrounded by people yet immersed in isolation, all his party guests are either not invited at all or merely acquaintances. Just as is his fake life he created for himself as, despite all his
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In book, “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts how the American was corrupted through wealth. Fitzgerald provides many examples. The most common example shown was Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s idea that to achieve his American Dream must be to acquire wealth. In order to show this, Fitzgerald uses various literary elements. Two of those being imagery and foreshadowing, these played a critical role in describing the theme, and specific moods to show what was to come and as well as describe the story as a whole. These play a vital role in representing Gatsby’s life and journey to acquiring Daisy, his version of the American Dream.
The Great Gatsby is set in the 1920s while The Catcher in the Rye is set in the 1950s. Despite the time periods being 30 years apart, both novels depict the American Dream in similar ways through the protagonist. The Great Gatsby follows the story of young man, Jay Gatsby, trying to win back his former love interest, Daisy, through his acquisition of wealth. The Catcher in the Rye is narrated by a male teenager, Holden Caulfield, and follows the story of how he ended up in a mental hospital. The concept of the American Dream is displayed in each novel. The authors of The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye use the American Dream to motivate the protagonist to try and achieve unattainable dreams. However, only Holden realizes his dream
In literature, a character’s unique perspective on common human experiences can both engage the reader, and vastly contribute to a text’s endearing value and significance. The Catcher in The Rye offers a rich portrayal of such themes as, the impact of alienation as a form of self-preservation, resistance to change, and the psychological effects of unresolved grief. By telling the story directly through the first-person narration of Holden Caulfield, Salinger offers an unusually in-depth perspective of an emotionally complex character, who is struggling to find his place in the world. Unlike many coming of age stories, the reader of Salinger’s novel is left with a strong sense that Holden will continue to struggle with the protective wall of
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a novel that highlights the stark contrast between the rich elites of East Egg and the dirt-poor ashen people of the Valley of Ashes through the reckless power that the wealthy of this world can exert on the unfortunate. As concluded by Nick in the novel, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness [...] and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald, 179). By thoroughly examining the thoughtless actions of Daisy and Tom Buchanan and their consequences, Baz Luhrmann's rendition of The Great Gatsby portrays the carelessness of the elites more effectively than the novel. Through the inclusion of additional scenes and the omission of some, Baz Luhrmann conveys the utter disregard that Tom and Daisy posses towards other characters in the novel.
Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, incorporates numerous themes. However, the two most important themes throughout the book were innocence and loneliness. Holden’s innocence is constantly changing as he matures throughout the story. Furthermore, Holden has to deal with the effects of embarking on his journey throughout the story with loneliness. Salinger’s message during the 1940’s shows how American society and the growth of the teenage boy remains the same throughout
“The orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” is the unattainable goal of those living in Tom and Daisy’s world—a world where lives are wasted chasing the unreachable (Fitzgerald 180). In his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald suggests that making any progress whatsoever toward this aspiration often requires people to establish facades that enable them to progress socially, but that a crippled facade will backfire and cause detriment to its creator. In the passage where Nick realizes who Gatsby is on page 48, Nick observes two different versions of Gatsby—one that is reassuring and truthful and another who “pick[s] his words with care” (Fitzgerald 48). Nick is at first attracted to Gatsby’s constructed
Gatsby cannot be classified as a truly moral person who exhibits goodness or correctness in his character and behaviour. Gatsby disputes most moral damage throughout the novel. Gatsby exhibits characteristics explaining the reason behind moral decay in society. Corruption and lies are responsible for the destruction of humanity. Gatsby’s whole life’s basically is a lie as he created a fake identity for himself. A whole new persona, Jay Gatsby is not even his real name. Gatsby
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays society’s role in transforming one’s identity by creating complex and realistic characters. Jay Gatsby is a prime example of how one will change themselves to accommodate society. Once a poor son from a farming family, Gatsby puts up an extravagant facade to hopefully win a woman over, however in the process, puts aside morals and values. Fitzgerald demonstrates the importance of social expectations, wealth and the perception of the American Dream are in determining one’s identity.
The Great Gatsby written By F.Scott Fitzgerald is a novel about people, mainly Gatsby’s idea of the ‘American dream’ which can be compared easily to The Catcher in the Rye By J.D Salinger. Nick and Jay Gatsby are similar to Holden Caulfield. Nick is like Holden in the fact that they both share ideas of having expectations of people and hope, even though society constantly lets them down with multiple examples showing how people act in their natural state. Gatsby and Holden are much alike because they both have these fond ideas of women and their illusion of their American dreams, with Holden its Jane and with Gatsby its Daisy but they are both disappointed when they realize their ideas are just ideas
The Great Gatsby is an extraordinary novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who tells the story about the wealthy man of Long Island named, Jay Gatsby, a middle aged man with a mysterious past, who lives at a gothic mansion and hosts many parties with many strangers who were not entirely invited. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many characters are discussed uniquely to an extent from the festive, yet status hungry Roaring Twenties. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald introduces many characters who all seem to cause conflict with each other because of incompatible personalities. The main character that F. Scott Fitzgerald sets the entire book over is Jay Gatsby, Gatsby, is first shown as a mysterious man whose
At a first glance, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye’s dark, depressing story seems to be worlds apart from the more colorful tone of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. As a teen, Holden Caulfield is thrown headfirst into the adult world, forced to deal with his teenage angst, loneliness, and pain without guidance or companionship, while attempting to preserve the innocence found in children in vain. Being older and wealthier, Jay Gatsby lives a luxurious life, devoting his time and resources to his mission of reuniting with Daisy, an old lover. Despite the age and lifestyle differences, both characters have a troubled history and are constantly plagued by their haunting memories, with Holden being unable to overcome his brother’s death and Gatsby constantly tormented by his inability to create a relationship with Daisy. Hoping to find comfort and unwilling to seek external support, both Holden and Gatsby resort to self-delusion, creating facades that blur the line between fact and fiction, in a final attempt to find the mental peace that they so craved. This desperation and their inability to differentiate between fact and fiction begins to manifest itself in their social lives, isolating them from society as they slowly drift away from the real world and closer to their fantasy world.
Gatsby does not belong to his own class and he is not accepted by the upper class, therefore he becomes an exception. Because of disappointment of being looked down upon and impossibility of accept by the upper class, he has nothing left except his love, which is also his “love dream”. Gatsby’s love for Daisy has been the sole drive and motive of his living. Gatsby’s great love is also the root of his great tragedy, because he is desperately in love with a woman who is not worthy of his deep love. Fitzgerald offers Gatsby with the spirit of sincerity, generosity, nobility, perseverance, and loyalty. All his good natures can be seen
Jerome David Salinger’s only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is based on the life events shaping main character, Holden Caulfield, into the troubled teen that is telling the story in 1950. The theme of the story is one of emotional disconnection felt by the alienated teenagers of this time period. The quote, “ I didn’t know anyone there that was splendid and clear thinking and all” (Salinger 4) sets the tone that Holden cannot find a connection with anyone around him and that he is on a lonely endeavor in pursuit of identity, acceptance and legitimacy. The trials and failures that Holden faces on his journey to find himself in total shed light on Holden’s archenemy, himself.
“The Great Gatsby” is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in 1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922. The novel takes place following the First World War. American society enjoyed prosperity during the “roaring” as the economy soared. At the same time, prohibition, the ban on the sale and manufacture of alcohol as mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment, made millionaires out of bootleggers. After its republishing in 1945 and 1953, it quickly found a wide readership and is today widely