Never the less, the houses themselves are concentrated on more so in Wuthering Heights as they are the dominant symbol of the two separate worlds, whereas Gatsby concentrates on the society around East Egg and West Egg, in order to emphasize the difference of the world Daisy and Tom inhabit in comparison to Gatsby’s world.
Fitzgerald creates the symbolism of East and West Egg by choosing to rename Great Neck and Manhasset. West Egg is a place of newly rich settled opportunists, many like Gatsby who are seen to have acquired a fortune overnight and boast this through extravagant houses. West Egg has an overall vibrancy shown through ‘spectroscopic gayety’ with this Fitzgerald suggests a bright, colourful and energetic lifestyle.
East Egg however is a fashionable part of Long Island, where the wealthy descendants, of a previous money making generation, live. In contrast with the West, they seem to be more withdrawn from enjoying themselves and proud of their ‘staid nobility’, with the exception of a few lapses at Gatsby’s parties. This lack of living for the moment comes across also in the way that they seem to want more in life in the East, but have no intentions of looking for it. Fitzgerald mocks the ambitionless simplicity of life that for example is demonstrated in Jordan and Daisy’s superficial conversation, ‘We ought to plan something’, ‘All right…What’ll we plan? What do people plan?’ Similarly people lack genuine qualities, everything is based on etiquette and image, a prime example of this is when Mrs Sloane invites Gatsby to supper out of politeness but doesn’t expect him to actually come.
Equally Shakespeare employs the theme of class, as a barrier between Othello and Desdemona, but unlike Bronte and Fitzgerald, he demonstrates the distinction through the discrimination drawn upon Othello. None the less, Shakespeare does use a comparison of two separate locations, Venice and Cypress. Shakespeare accomplishes a dramatic tone in the play Othello through the use of a variation of techniques, for example dramatic irony. Likewise Shakespeare uses contrasting worlds, for instance the contrast between Venice and Cyprus, Venice is portrayed to be a respected origin, it has a positive representation in the play, being the place in which Desdemona and Othello fell in love. Cypress on the other hand is surrounded in conflict, described as a ‘war-like isle’, a direct comparison to Venice; it is also the place where Othello and Desdemona’s love suffers.
The two countries are essential to Shakespeare’s comparison between the worlds of war and love and how Othello struggles to find a balance between the two. ‘The warlike moor’ encounters the conflict between the roles of being an inexperienced loving husband and a hardened military soldier. He’s used to of course an all male environment, a soldier’s life style, uneducated in the domestic world of females. He can deal with the ‘flinty and steel couch of war’ yet is ‘little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace. Shakespeare devises Othello’s dialogue to show how he is more comfortable with language from the semantic field of war than pet nick names, calling Desdemona ‘My fair Warrior’.
Othello may be respected for his military efforts, after all this is all we see him praised for, no credit is given to the fact he is marrying Desdemona even their wedding celebration is shared with a military celebration. Considering this Shakespeare presents him very much as an outsider, the only black protagonist, he doesn’t qualify as a gentleman, and is included in society purely as he is an acquaintance of Brabantio and Cassio.
All protagonists in all the novels, struggle to cross the threshold into a new world supposed better than them, whether it be down to class, race or purely a change in life style. Fitzgerald isolates his central protagonist with similar obstacles of simply not having the correct background. Gatsby idolises Daisy out of love, however his dream seems uncomprehendable, as although he dates Daisy early on in his life, she could not be patient enough to wait for Gatsby to return from the war. Daisy instead began to meet with men of her same social class status and under the pressure of having to find a husband marries Tom, who although doesn’t satisfy her for long due to his infidelity, does however have inherited wealth, like herself, placing him in the correct, respectable, old established aristocracy.
Fitzgerald heightens the sense of Gatsby’s desperation to fit in by showing his dedication to winning Daisy; this encourages the reader to empathise with Gatsby and his incorrect specification as a man. He portrays Gatsby as a romantic idealist ‘getting deeper in love every minute’, as he builds a new life for himself purely to attract her attention by dangerously engaging in illegal activity and becoming ‘a bootlegger’, just to accumulate a fortune to fund building a huge gaudy mansion across the bay.
Fitzgerald evokes the reader’s sympathy towards Gatsby by showing Daisy to be aware of the probable ways Gatsby amassed his money and so forth sees him and his home as ‘fake’. Fitzgerald presents this dramatic irony by representing Daisy as a user of Gatsby, attending his parties but never actually planning to elope with Gatsby. Fitzgerald does present Gatsby as someone merely attempting to become an imitation of an East Egg inhabitant, with his replicas of great antiques such as the ‘high gothic library’. Similarly Fitzgerald’s descriptions of Gatsby’s parties have an artificial air, he doesn’t even enjoy them, ‘standing alone’ giving ‘rare smiles’. Yet Fitzgerald juxtaposes this adulterated behaviour with Gatsby’s genuine belief that Daisy will see that he can occupy her lifestyle and therefore pursue his dream.
Fitzgerald’s use of irony, in the waste of Gatsby’s efforts when Daisy declines his plea in chapter twelve, is effective. Highlighting that even though he has all of the materialistic elements she values, Daisy’s deciding factor is something Gatsby has no control of. This shows the corruption and the obsession of money and wealth of people like Daisy, who singly value their world of upper class social acceptance, with a disregard to morals and any care for the effect on outsiders like Gatsby.
Comparably, Fitzgerald presents the threshold between two worlds of class in Myrtle and George’s relationship. Myrtle Wilson strives for a life of wealth, in order to be accepted into the party lifestyle. She escapes from her husband George who lives in the Valley of ashes, a long stretch of derelict land used for dumping industrial waste. Fitzgerald uses this land to echo the social decay from the upper classes, with their single care of being wealthy. George’s life acts as a large contrast to someone like Tom’s, his world is empty, this is emphasised by Fitzgerald’s description of George’s home lands, with the use of adjectives from the semantic field of dreariness such as ‘desolate’, ‘bleak’ and ‘dismal’. We see the harsh realities of George’s social class state in the way that Myrtle chooses to be with Tom, a married man, simply to have her desired world in reach.
Bronte also uses this element of uncontrollable separation of two people. At the beginning of the novel Cathy and Heathcliff as children see each other as equals, in their element when running wild on the moors. However when Cathy enters the social world of the Linton’s for the first time Cathy ‘starts to value trivial aspects of a person such as appearance, demonstrated by her return to Wuthering Heights, ‘If you wash your face and brush your hair, it will be all right’. Cathy becomes aware of the benefits of Edgar’s wealth and despite realising her and Heathcliff’s seems more eternal and passionate, likening him to ‘rocks’, ‘lightning’ and ‘fire’, Cathy is too wrapped up in her own world of status.
In comparison to Gatsby and Wuthering Heights, Desdemona loves Othello because he is adventurous and isn’t stuck in the world of the social upper class. Still, Othello receives discrimination for his background, as did Gatsby and Heathcliff. In the opening of the play Shakespeare uses stage directions ‘Entre Brabantio in his nightgown’ and dialogue ‘an old black ram is tupping your white ewe’ to convey the lack of respect towards Othello, feeling the news is so terrible that there is a need to wake Brabantio, making racist references using animal imagery, to dehumanise Othello. Additionally when Othello’s relationship is revealed, Brabantio suspects Othello must have drugged her or used magic ‘charms’ for Desdemona to be with him. He dismisses Othello as an appropriate lover for his daughter and imagines her being held against her will and forced, ‘O unhappy girl!’, ‘accident’, ‘thief’, ‘stow’d’, ‘chains’. However ignoring others’ initial judgements, Desdemona does not let anyone sway her decision.
Overall, protagonists Gatsby, Heathcliff and Othello and some minor characters in the novels, all attempt to fight the battles of being an outsider, finding the walls between worlds are two strong for them to exceed and leave behind completely, concluding in them all becoming ‘tortured souls divided by social structure’ (Heather Huckfeldt, Resident Scholar) and ultimately dying unhappily.