Jay Gatsby And Dorian Gray Analysis

Decent Essays
It could be argued that, Jay Gatsby and Dorian Gray, despite being from hugely different time periods, both suffer under the weight of cultural expectations. Fundamentally, the ‘very American young man’ could be epitomised as Jay Gatsby; a man who uniquely undergoes a transformation from impoverished farm boy, to ambitious soldier and eventually ostentatious entrepreneur revelling in the glamour of West Egg high society. Jay Gatsby achieves the true definition of the American Dream - the right of every man to liberty, freedom and hope. Despite this, Fitzgerald twists the narrative of the American Dream to portray the inner nature of its materialism and the avarice of period. The American Dream is a fantasy and in reality is based upon old fashioned barriers of class and hierarchy trapping Gatsby from ever truly achieving his dream. Alternatively, it could be suggested that the protagonists are not simply products of their culture and they make choices based on their own selfish desires. These choices often surround their relationships with women and expose their natural cruelties as explored in Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Gray. Despite Gray's violence, it could be argued that the pedagogy of his contemporaries manipulates him to transform into a narcissistic murderer and depicts him as a clear victim of his culture. Both men are exploited by their hedonistic cultures but remain to manipulate them to the extent that women around them coerced to accept the devastating
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