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

Modern American fiction - A bay never surmountable.

Extracts from this document...


To Prof. GuoQiqing From ChaoXiaoqian Modern American Fiction 5/30/2002 A Bay Never Surmountable In The Great Gatsby, there are two small islands, East Egg and West Egg, which are "identical in contour, separated only by a courtesy bay"(The Great Gatsby, P.5). Among them, the West Egg is "the less fashionable of the two"(The Great Gatsby, P.5), on which live Nick and Gatsby. Across this courtesy bay "the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water"(The Great Gatsby, P.5), on which Tom and Daisy live their carefree and leisure lives. The two Eggs, in a sense, represent two camps of social class, while the bay symbolizes a fathomless and unbridgeable gap between the two. Although Gatsby is rich enough to possess a grand mansion "rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season"(The Great Gatsby, P.5), his residence situates on the West Egg with regret. The East Egg is the symbol of wealth, power and status. It is also the dream of Gatsby. Beyond the bay, Gatsby's desire, Gatsby's illusion, Gatsby's hope, and Gatsby's lost love ---Daisy--- is there. To cross the bay and melt with the people he admires on the East is an everlasting attraction to him. To cross the bay means you are the wealthy, you are the renowned, you are the powerful, and you are the best. ...read more.


With humble background and poor education, Gatsby's entry is inevitably blocked. Those people benefiting from his extravagant and luxurious parties freely, at the same time, show suspicions and scorns toward Gatsby. To them, Gatsby is just a free lunch ticket, a card taken advantage of, no more withal. Actually Gatsby is never equipollent to Tom and is impossible to cross the bay. He is certain to be surrounded by his guests' gossips and maneuvered by them. Money alone is not powerful enough to secure Gatsby's social status. Without noble birth, Gatsby is certain to be betrayed and deserted by Daisy at crucial point. The bay is never surmountable in that Gatsby could never win Daisy. It is impossible for Gatsby to get the true heart of Daisy. The two belong to different social classes. It seems that Daisy once fell in love with Gatsby, they were dating, they had close touch, but all these were underpinned by Gatsby's deliberately giving Daisy a sense of security, letting her believe that he was a person from much the same strata as herself. When war approaches and acts as a touchstone, Daisy doesn't stand the test. She chooses Tom, a man with ''a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position''(The Great Gatsby, P.151). ...read more.


They are weak people but over-confidently to challenge the authoritative privileged. They think their weapons, (Gatsby's money and Myrtle's personal glamour) are powerful to launch battles against the rich, to break through the stronghold, to take their share of the realm. But they end with failure and tragedies. Tom and Daisy are dominant group, they have consolidated social status, they possess invisible control over others, they not only have enormous wealth, but honorable birth. They are living in a camp, an unchallengeable, impenetrable and indestructible camp. They were people with inherited and accumulated ascendancy. They have the privilege to be careless and irresponsible. ''They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made"(The Great Gatsby, P. 180-181). At critical point, there are a natural intimacy and class instinct between Tom and Daisy, which unite them tightly. Gatsby, Myrtle, and George all die so that the Buchanan way of life can go on, their sense of superiority can be sustained, their arrogance can remain inviolate(Lehan, 1992). Gatsby, Myrtle are tragic in that they don't have a clear realization of the snobbish, apathetic and hierarchical society, in which social discrimination and class divisions are pervasive, controlling people's destiny. Wild extravagance of Gatsby's parties could not earn him a mourner, while ash and dust build a grave for Myrtle. ...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. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    As a consequence, the society shows a decline in spiritual life of its inhabitants, and their lives become lacking in meaning and ideal. And this is often identified as the 'Jazz Age', during which the overwhelming atmosphere of careless gaiety and wild celebration is prevalent.

  2. "Gatsby is a Victim of the American Dream." Discuss Scott Fitzgerald's Portrayal of Gatsby ...

    I believe that this is the final point before his death, that we see him as a victim. Nick acknowledges that it is in fact Daisy that was driving and therefore kills Myrtle, yet happily accepts that Gatsby will willingly take the blame.

  1. "The Great Gatsby" and the American Dream.

    Daisy's can be seen as a destructive character like her husband Tom, but we shy away from this because we feel pity for her. What is sad about her dream is that her materialistic desires are born from a longing for security.

  2. Who was Gatsby? Did he "turn out all right in the end?"

    From this he kills Gatsby because it was his car that killed Myrtle. After this death Wilson commits suicide. Nick plans Gatsby's funeral and only three people showed up. Nick then returns to the West and meets with Tom Buchanan. Finally Nick had taken one last view of Gatsby's house.

  1. How are the two books an exposure of two different ideals - The Great ...

    He eventually sums up the whole institution as: "conquest of the earth... the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves". This attitude is compounded later in the opening sections when the institution of colonialism is described as a "flabby, pretending weak-eyed devil".

  2. Death of the American - Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

    Willy believes that a person attains wealth not through hard work but instead through his popularity. The success of Bernard, a hard-working man who achieves his accomplishments through his own calculated efforts, exposes this misconception. Willy looks down upon Bernard as a socially inept boy whose supposed lack of people

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