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What are some of the assumptions held by different characters in The Great Gatsby, and to what degree do these change in the course of the novel?

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Introduction

Essay - What are some of the assumptions held by different characters in The Great Gatsby, and to what degree do these change in the course of the novel? There are various assumptions held by different characters in the novel The Great Gatsby. The definition of change is to alter, to adapt to transform or to become different. The catalyst in the novel is Gatsby's outward change of personality, peoples views of Gatsby. Various types of changes explored in the text include environmental changes, social changes, physical changes, intellectual changes, relationship changes and attitudinal changes. The Great Gatsby is written from Nick's perspective. It uses emotive and sophisticated language, which enhances the style. Issues raised in the novel to be discussed are Gatsby's assumptions about the need of material wealth in society in order to be happy; Daisy's assumptions of Tom having an affair with another woman; and Tom's and the people who attended Gatsby's parties, assumptions of Gatsby, as to his wealth. Jay Gatsby assumes that in order to have happiness in life, which is to be with the woman he loves, he needs to have professional accomplishments and material wealth. Gatsby's lifestyle and pursuits reveal these assumptions about wealth in his society. "Rich girls don't marry poor boys," says Daisy. Everything Gatsby has done in his life is to prove that he is worthy of Daisy. His participation in a bootlegging operation allows him to acquire the wealth and social status needed to attract her. Gatsby doesn't care for the materialism that all his followers embrace. This can be seen through his bedroom, the only room he really uses, which is empty compared to the rest of the house. The place where he actually spends most of his time has little resemblance to the rest of the house, where the guests spend most of their time. Gatsby flaunts all these material possessions only as a means of winning over Daisy, his true love. ...read more.

Middle

Jay Gatsby was permitted to make his own choices and decisions, but due to being blinded by his love for Daisy he realised that he had to be successful and wealthy in order to get her, and that was his choice. Gatsby's assumptions change to a degree, as even though he had everything Daisy would want, wealth, success, and a name that was well known, he still couldn't persuade Daisy to stay with him. Daisy assumes Tom is having an affair with another woman. "He has some woman in New York," says Jordan to Nick. As a result of this, and being informed of Gatsby's existence, Gatsby and Daisy's affair begins. Daisy is colder toward Tom, and they continually argue when Tom receives "a call from New York", but shortly after, they carry on as if no conflict had arisen between them. The song lyrics, Weeping in the Forest, by Archie Roach, are about the stolen generation. These lyrics reveal what life was like for the Aborigines before and after the aboriginal children were taken unfairly from their families. The lyrics speak of what changes the area, including the trees, have undergone as a result of this experience. When the child says, "Let me see the things you see", it expresses her desire to go back to the past that her uncle so happily speak of. This presents a close link to The Great Gatsby, as when Daisy assumes Tom has another woman in New York, she becomes aware of the fact that she is not as perfect as she may have thought. Daisy wants her and Tom's relationship to continue as it was, before Gatsby and "the woman in New York" came into their life. After Gatsby's death, she isn't affected, and her life and relationship with Tom continues as if no conflict existed between the two. This confirms that as a result of these assumptions, Tom and Daisy's relationship only changed to a certain degree in the course of the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

At first, no one accepted Vianne as they thought her ideas ludicrous, just as no one accepted Gatsby when he was poor. Vianne was an independent-thinking woman trying to live in a village of close-minded people. In this case, she is very similar to Gatsby. Gatsby is also living in a town filled with narrow-minded people, who think money is everything. Vianne states, "goodness is measured by WHAT you do, not from what you REFRAIN from doing." This statement is very powerful, on the people of the village and as they begin to understand this, they begin to accept her, just as Gatsby was accepted due to his wealth and extravagant parties. Throughout the novel it is gradually revealed, that only as a result of these assumptions of Gatsby's extreme wealth, was he accepted into their world. These assumptions changed to an extent after Gatsby's death. When he was alive, he was the talk of the parties, and after his death, no one even mentioned his name, or attended his funeral. Gatsby's assumptions about the need of material wealth in society in order to be happy was proved to be incorrect as after his tireless efforts to become the man Daisy would want to be with, he didn't get to be with her and she didn't love him as much as he had hoped. Daisy's assumptions of Tom having an affair with another woman, proved to be correct, and affected her to a minute extent, but after a short while she forgot about it and continued her life as if she were oblivious to the quarrels that had taken place. Tom's and the guests of Gatsby's parties, assumptions of Gatsby, as to his wealth, were correct in some cases. These assumptions changed to a certain extent as when he was alive he was the talk to his parties, but after his death, his status diminished to an extent where people didn't even attend his funeral. These assumptions held by different characters in The Great Gatsby, changed to various extents through the course of the novel. ...read more.

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