• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do the two main characters in your comparison novels compare? (The Great Gatsby and The Secret History)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do the two main characters in your comparison novels compare? (The Great Gatsby and The Secret History) In 'The Great Gatsby', by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many compelling issues are conveyed through the attributes and actions of the wide range of primary and secondary characters - however the most notable, as suggested by the book's title, is arguably Jay Gatsby himself. He appears to be the epitome of enigma and strongly reflects the novel's hedonistic social influences. Similarly, Donna Tartt illustrates similar profound issues using a similar technique with the portrayal of her characters in 'The Secret History', of which Henry Winter is a main focus of the storyline, much like Gatsby. Firstly, one main aspect of both Henry and Gatsby appears to be their mysterious and unusual natures. A distinct gap between Gatsby and his peers is evident within the first party of the novel, as Jordan Baker states 'He told me once he was an Oxford man... ...However, I don't believe it.' This suggests how mistrusting even Gatsby's neighbours feel towards him, which is ironic taking into account that he has invited her into his own home. ...read more.

Middle

The pink suit reinforces his riches and hedonistic lifestyle, which is lacking evidence in Henry's 'old-fashioned' appearance, who can only be seen among simple items such as books and his umbrella, though even this is described as a 'rare sight in Hampden' which further creates his sense of mystery. One notable and comparable aspect is that Gatsby is also described by Nick as an 'elegant young rough-neck', an oxymoron which begins to shed light on his true, simpler background. This sense of history is almost immediately revealed by Bunny in Henry's case, he is from a surprisingly average location - Missouri. Furthermore, although Julian Morrow may not be considered a main character in The Secret History, it may be considered that he makes a better direct comparison to Gatsby. He is described as 'ageless' and 'sly as a child', which creates a similar atmosphere in creating such a strong and flawless presence, although the word 'sly' suggests a slightly more sinister undertone to his personality; much like Gatsby being a 'rough-neck'. He appears to hold a similar fa�ade when communicating with Richard, 'You have a wonderful name... ...read more.

Conclusion

In a tall glass... ...That's what I want.' Whilst this adheres to his usual rigidity, he appears to be much more commanding and daunting - very specific to details and succinct, rather than Gatsby's outbursts of emotion which appear to be the direct cause of his shortcomings. To conclude, both characters carry a sense of mystery, however Gatsby's portrayal seems to be much more positive both physically and intangibly throughout most of the novel. Although this is true, this 'perfect' atmosphere around him is possibly an attack by Fitzgerald on the impossibility of a hedonistic lifestyle as the character appears so immaculate it is fictitious. When he does finally start to reveal part of his true nature in the form of a stubborn attitude, it may be much more shocking to the reader than Henry's forceful yet constant demeanour, as it is abrupt and unexpected which is reflective of Fitzgerald's style - very differing to Tartt's gradual transformations seen in The Secret History. There is a definite lack of emotion seen in Henry in contrast with Gatsby's sudden bursts of it, which shows a distinct difference in personality. Furthermore, a sense of sophistication which is displayed in Gatsby through his calculated behaviour and clothing seems to be lacking in Henry - though he makes up for it with linguistic and intellectual genius. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    In reality, however, Alm�sy is a mapmaker who has helped German spies and carried on an affair with another man's wife. By projecting noble images onto the blank identity of the English patient, Hana builds innocent and childlike dreams. As the novel concludes, Hana sees the reality in her situation,

  2. Marked by a teacher

    In what Sense can we connect the Ideas of the Idealised Self and the ...

    3 star(s)

    This repetition emphasises how much we will use the same phrases, again and again, even if we try to stay away from the norms. It is putting our feelings for someone in a way that they will understand. The question 'can you love if you don't understand the language of love?'

  1. Lord of the flies comparison

    However, this begins to fail as the group divides. The "savages" move to the other side of the island and "the world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away". Throughout the book, Golding repeatedly describes the children's innate sense of wrong-doing as the influence of "the old life".

  2. Free essay

    Discuss the way in which the female characters are presented in the Great Gatsby

    She tries to exploit their relationship to force Nick closer to her. She asserts her advantage when she exclaims to Nick: 'That's why I like you'. Not only does Nick have a 'safe' character about him, but he also exemplifies traditional principles.

  1. Wuthering Heights comparison Engleby and the Great Gatsby

    This shows how Nelly is deceiving the characters in the novel, and the coordinating conjunction 'and' furthers this unreliability. Nelly's action in hiding things from another character could be considered similar to the narrator in Engleby, who says 'My memory's odd like that'.

  2. A Comparison of the imagery and symbolism in Birdsong and Fair Stood the Wind ...

    he knew who put all his faith into a revolver, only for it to be of no use or security during a time of desperation. FIND EXTRACT. This narrative is included to express Bates' apparent opinion that the mechanical, physical and fundamentally human world is looked upon with great indifference

  1. Compare the Opening Chapters of The Great Gatsby and Black Water, and Show How ...

    the incident and why she would leave with The Senator in the first place "Kelly Kelleher, baptismal name Elizabeth Anne Kelleher, had written her ninety page senior honour's thesis on The Senator." This quote shows that she had an admiration for The Senator even before she met him, and is the reason why she went with him.

  2. Explore Fitzgeralds Presentation of love in The Great Gatsby, making connections to E.L. Doctrows ...

    He is said to have not ?ceased looking at Daisy? whilst also looking ?around at his possessions in a dazed way.? This shows to us that Gatsby thinks of Daisy the same way he does whilst thinking about his own things, linking it back to the lifestyle she leads and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work