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Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby,

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Introduction

Simon Everett Task A -Examine the relationships between the narrator of each novel and the character who so fascinates them in each case. Over the last fifty years, since the release of On The Road in 1957, it has not been uncommon for critics to draw parallels between Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, released thirty-two years previously. It is for certain that both the novels share many similar traits, both examine concepts of American ideals and The American Dream, both are heavily influenced by the jazz age of the time, but nothing binds the novels closer to one another than the authors' use of the first person narrative and that narrators relationship with their leading character. It is perhaps the most common reading to see both Jay Gatsby and Dean Moriarty awarded iconic status by their corresponding narrators. The connotations concerning the epithet found in the very centre of Fitzgerald's title alone can bring an image to the reader's mind of one of history's great leaders, putting Gatsby in league with characters such as Alexander the Great, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great and Frederick the Great. It would seem obvious from the title that Gatsby is one beheld with admiration and respect by the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

Swartz, Dean is the novel. Sal could spend his entire life travelling across the country, but without Dean, the travel could not be a transcendence. This is perhaps highlighted by the fact that Dean spends a lot of time driving Sal about the country; the fact that Moriarty is the literal driving force behind Sal's dreams could indicate that he is the metaphorical force also. This may be seen to be similar to the manner in which Nick uses Gatsby to carry his relationship with Jordan. Nick's friendship with Gatsby is the one thing that provides a strong tie in his attempt at romance with the celebrity socialite and this may be one of the major reasons behind his continued association with Gatsby, despite the fact that he "disapproved of him from beginning to end". The decay in Nick and Jordan's relationship is mirrored perfectly in the relationship between Nick and Gatsby. The moment when Nick and Jordan go their separate ways on the hotel steps can be used to distinguish the turning point in his and Gatsby's relationship, as the very next day sees a marked change in the manner in which Nick views his friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

at the wall, jump out, race among fenders, leap into another car, circle it fifty miles an hour in a narrow space, back swiftly into a tight spot, hump, snap the car with the emergency so that you see it bounce as he flies out; then...leap into a newly arrived car before the owner's half out, leap literally under him as he steps out, starts the car with the door flapping, and roar off to the next available spot, arc, pop in, brake, out, run. It would be easy to substitute the car in this instance with a woman to come up with a justifiable description of Dean's attitude towards women. Just in the way Sal admires and enthuses about his car-parking abilities, describing him as, "...the most fantastic parking-lot attendant in the world..." Sal admirers and enthuses about his sex life. In 1991, Eagleton published an essay with a Marxist sentiment declaring that, much like Nick, "Sal is suffering from ideology - a false consciousness that is imposed on them by the hegemonic social order". This adds to the link between the two narrators concerning their feelings towards their leading characters; in particular the manner in which they both admire the achievements made by Gatsby or Dean in their love lives. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay asks candidates to draw comparisons between the relationships between the protagonists and the narrators of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' (Nick Carraway) and Jack Kerouac's 'One The Road' (Sal Paradise). This candidate retains an immensely strong focus ...

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Response to the question

This essay asks candidates to draw comparisons between the relationships between the protagonists and the narrators of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' (Nick Carraway) and Jack Kerouac's 'One The Road' (Sal Paradise). This candidate retains an immensely strong focus on the subject question and every point they make is backed up with very clear evidence of understanding of the two novels' plots, themes and characters, as well as drawing upon the similarities and difference between the two relationships. There is plenty of content here to cover enough information to achieve a high A grade, but it does not appear too extensive - this is good because it shows an ability to be able to analyse and compare effectively in concise lengths; a skill highly appreciated by examiners who have to mark many essays at a time.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis indicates that this candidate is completely capable of achieving the top band of marks as this is a highly original, highly well-informed piece that draws on a number of sources, all cited, to inform their answer. As well as quoting from the source text, as is imperative in analytical essays, this candidate shows they have the ability to go one further and quote from external, independent research - this is examiners really want to see. This shows an excellent writing flair and an enthusiasm for both texts, as well as demonstration of the fully-fledged holistic understanding that is required of candidates hoping to do well with a question like this.
The answer covers a range of ideas that the authors of the novels have integrated into their characters. Similarities and differences in equal wamount have been identified (all candidates much exercise the ability to do this; a balanced argument is far more effective in analytical merit than essays with a clear bias to one text, as the latter example does not show full understanding of both novels). Overall, this essay is a very strong response that shows a candidate with knowledge of both texts and an incentive to research further information to fortify their response.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is of a very high standard. There is an excellent use of a wide variety of punctuation, ranging from the fairly basic comma and full stops to semi-colons, colons and parentheses. There are no spelling mistakes and the grammar of this candidate is clear and conforms to the writing standards expected of an analytical essay.


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