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

“The Great Gatsby” is a deeply tragic novel; “A Handful of Dust” is a light-hearted, farcical comedy.” To what extent do you agree with this evaluation of the genre and style of the two novels?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The Great Gatsby" is a deeply tragic novel; "A Handful of Dust" is a light-hearted, farcical comedy." To what extent do you agree with this evaluation of the genre and style of the two novels? 'The Great Gatsby', written by F Scott Fitzgerald, is undoubtedly a deeply tragic novel. There are many tragic elements about it, many of which I shall be looking at in greater detail. The title character and protagonist in the novel is Jay Gatsby, a mysterious and fabulously wealthy man living in a gothic mansion in West Egg. Gatsby does not appear a speaking role until chapter three of the novel. Fitzgerald initially presents Gatsby as the aloof, enigmatic host of the unbelievably wealthy parties thrown every week at his mansion. He appears surrounded by spectacular luxury, courted by powerful men and beautiful women. Yet he is flawed. Many aspects of Gatsby's world are intriguing because they are slightly amiss - for instance, he seems to throw parties at which he knows none of his guests. His accent seems affected and his habit of calling people "old sport" is hard to place. One of his guests is surprised to find that his books are real, and not just empty covers. ...read more.

Middle

Nick is the only character at all interested in Gatsby after his death. At the funeral "nobody came" until Owl-Eyes arrives. Gatsby experiences loneliness, even in death. He has truly become a tragic, piteous character, and has reached his tragic end. * After Gatsby's funeral, Nick ends his relationship with Jordan and moves back to Minnesota to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby's life. Nick reflects that just as Gatsby's dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness has disintegrated into the pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby's power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him "great", Nick reflects that the era of dreaming - both Gatsby's dream and the American dream - is over, thus making Gatsby's end a tragic end. I believe that the novel "A Handful Of Dust", written by Evelyn Waugh, has elements of comedy and farce, but can also been seen, like "The Great Gatsby", as a tragedy. The action developed in the novel closely resembles the action of classical greek tragedy. There is the rising action: Brenda's growing disaffection for her husband; the climax, the accidental death of John Andrew and Brenda's subsequent desertion of Tony, Tony's voyage to South America, and finally, the catastrophe with Tony ending up in the hands on Mr Todd. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "The Great Gatsby", Myrtle Wilson accidentally gets run over, an act of fate which causes Gatsby to lose his life. Both Gatsby and Tony come to a tragic end which they do not deserve. There is a significance in Tony's ending; he has ultimately gone from one imprisonment to another - from Hetton to South America. This ending is both tragic and farcical: it is tragic as Tony's traditional values have finally decayed, and it is farcical because Mr Todd makes Tony read him Dickens aloud. This is nonsensical, but at the same time, absurdly funny. Referring back to the question, I do agree with the evaluation that "The Great Gatsby" is a deeply tragic novel, but disagree that "A Handful of Dust" is a light-hearted, farcical comedy. "A Handful Of Dust" does have an underlining element of farce to it, however, the tragic elements exceed the farcical elements. Like Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby", Tony Last is a victim; a victim of society, a victim of adultery and most significantly, a victim of himself. He has a tragic flaw, and readers can sympathise with him. He reaches a tragic end which he does not, by any means, deserve. From all of these points, I would conclude that "A Handful of Dust", like "The Great Gatsby" is a deeply tragic novel. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald 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 GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Beneath the Surface Glitter, The Great Gatsby is a Profoundly Pessimistic Novel. Do You ...

    4 star(s)

    he is astounded at what he finds. There is rife hypocrisy and a general lack of purpose. "Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully for the dramatic turbulence of some irrevocable football game." Tom also shows signs of something even more incorrect with his bigoted comment: "Civilisation's going to pieces..

  2. Peer reviewed

    Symbolism in The Great Gatsby.

    5 star(s)

    Nick explores these ideas when he imagines Gatsby's final thoughts as a depressed consideration of the emptiness of symbols and dreams: "I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn't believe it (contact from Daisy) would come and perhaps he no longer cared...He must have felt that he had lost the

  1. Peer reviewed

    What is so Great about Gatsby? The word great in the title gives the ...

    4 star(s)

    back to the past to a time that never was, to a time when Daisy loved him. In this ambition he is doomed to fail. The first time Nick sees Gatsby standing outside his huge house he is in 'shadow'.

  2. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher - shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of indian blue. (P.89). Effectively, Daisy is so dazzled by his opulent mansion and in particular his rich

  1. The Great Gatsby As A Tragedy

    Americans and Gatsby made the tragic mistake of instilling ideas into their dreams that were nonexistent. Dreams do not often become absolute reality. Contentment and happiness are often not at all associated with wealth and luxury. The American dream to become prosperous and happy can be compared to Gatsby's dream to have Daisy's love, admiration and respect.

  2. "The character of Jay Gatsby symbolises the corruption of the American Dream in 'The ...

    He effectively constructs a 'new' person in an attempt to 'recapture' Daisy. He changes himself to fit the model person he believes she wishes to be with. His striving to regain Daisy's love, and effectively remove five years of memory and life to start over in their relationship, is demonstrative

  1. Great Gatsby Reading Questions and answers.

    I think Tom knew that daisy wasn't driving the "death car" and spotted a chance to take his revenge in Gatsby. 8. At this point, how would you end the novel? I would end the novel by Gatsby leaving the town to England and everyone else moving on with their lives.

  2. How is Gatsby presented to the reader in Chapter 4 in the novel "The ...

    Over tea, Jordan tells Nick about Gatsby?s past and his love for Daisy. It is clear from Jordan?s description that the young Jay Gatsby was the ideal man: a brave and handsome soldier, going off to fight in war. Jordan mentions that Gatsby bought his house ?so that Daisy would be just across the bay?.

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