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What parallels (or differences) between Trimalchio's banquets and Gatsby's parties can be drawn? How far do you consider that Nick is an objective reporter and interpreter of what he sees in general (Chapters 1 - 4) and, in particular, in forming our init

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Introduction

What parallels (or differences) between Trimalchio's banquets and Gatsby's parties can be drawn? How far do you consider that Nick is an objective reporter and interpreter of what he sees in general (Chapters 1 - 4) and, in particular, in forming our initial impression of Gatsby's character? Often one of the most important ideals when reading about a modern text is looking at, perhaps, less modern texts which will help us to decipher the aims, sources and opinions of the author of the book that we were originally studying. Although it is important not to be too drawn in to every possible allusion, as if we did we would perhaps have no time left to study the original book, reading occasional contextual points could be very useful, especially one written in around 50AD, when the Roman economic boom was in full swing, and riches were distributed around the land. There is a wealth of context to discover, and unfortunately I can only just touch the tip of the iceberg; however, this should be informative to my studying of the literature. One of the most important things in a Roman society was wealth and social status. In order to gain the latter, you needed to have the former and so people were neither afraid nor reluctant to throw money about to make themselves seem very rich. ...read more.

Middle

After all, that is what Nick seems to think, shunning the Valley of Ashes and the Wilsons, but embracing Daisy, Jordan Baker and the other members who frequent Gatsby's party. So, if I were to answer the question in a single word: I would say "No" as nobody is ever a totally objective reporter. The fact that Nick Carraway uses melodrama and hyperbole seems to suggest that Gatsby is truly perfect and friendly. However, Nick would have been blinded at this points by two things: Wealth, and the fact that he is not infinitely good; just infinitely better than what he believed Gatsby would be, due to the facts that he had been told all of the rumours such as killing people, being a dirty liar and being German. The one difference I thing I can see between Trimalchio's banquet and Jay Gatsby's parties are the involvement of the host. Petronius Arbiter claims that "Trimalchio goes on to show off to his guests" which suggests that he was unbelievably wealthy and knew he was, and seemed to show this to his guests. He is also particularly ostencious, which shows because of his outgoing nature and his belief that he is the life and soul of the party. However, Jay Gatsby is different to this, in that he is quiet, reserved and very personal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Trimalchio also acted this way, gloating that he was wealthier than any of the other people and that he was superior, such as "I'll say I've got on pretty well" implying that he knows what he is doing, knows that he is doing it well and is strong. Although Jay Gatsby is boasting of his wealth much more subtly, I think it could be Nick's distortion, due to his subjective nature that makes him a lot more inclined to give Gatsby the benefit of the doubt and also that Nick doesn't want to appear in poverty next to this very rich man whom he respects. So, in conclusion, I think the only way I can sum up this essay is by saying that there are similarities and differences between Trimalchio, the Roman lord, and Gatsby, our very own Roman lord. One of the jkey similarities is their motive, and how Gatsby wants to be noticed because of this. One of the key ways to notice this was seeing that The Great Gatsby was originally going to be named "Trimalchio of West Egg"1. However, I think that they both strive for public recognition, and would ask: "Quid ego, homo stultissime, facere debui, cum fame morerer2" 1 Wikipedia on Trimalchio - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimalchio 2 Translation: What must I, a most foolish man, do when rumours die." - Satryicon http://www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/petronius1.html ?? ?? ?? ?? 29/10/2006 Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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