The Idea of Carelessness in "The Great Gatsby", Rosetti's poems and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

Authors Avatar by mchancheapegooglemailcom (student)

How do the three texts present the idea of carelessness?

In the Great Gatsby, carelessness and the idea of not caring about one’s consequences is strongly presented by the two characters of Tom and Daisy. Fitzgerald presents them as two characters from wealth, old money (unlike Gatsby’s character) and living in East Egg, which Nick’s narration describes to be the better of the two ‘perfectly shaped ovals’. The readers first meet the two characters in Chapter One, and through Nick’s first person modified narrator, we see Tom’s character as one that we shouldn’t like. Fitzgerald encourages us to look down upon him by mocking his wealth ‘he’d brought down a string of polo ponies from lake forest’. Polo ponies are horses used for playing polo, a classic game often played by the wealthy. Later in the novella, Gatsby introduces Tom’s character as the ‘polo player’ which is very much a condescending way of relating to someone, as if that was their only asset. Their wealth is also shown by ‘they had spent a year in france for no particular reason’, and this kind of carelessness is highlighted as their decisions are shown to be made just because they can. The carelessness shown by both characters when they cheat on each other, eg. with Tom showing his mistress off ‘I want you to meet my girl’ or ‘he turned up to popular cafes with her” shows how careless he is about undertaking something so morally wrong. The character’s decisions appear to have no consequences on any other character. When Daisy first meets Gatsby after the years apart, Nick mentions her husband to which she responds ‘who is Tom?’. This sheer ignorance and faked naivety, “she said innocently” may be perceived as endearing to the reader, but there are underlying tones which hint at how fake her character is by blatantly ignoring the fact that she has a husband and being careless about the consequences which may arise from her meeting up with another man. These consequences also have an impact on Gatsby’s character, as ‘he felt married to her, that was all’, and his ever-growing obsession ‘Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay’, whereas due to her character’s carelessness, when Gatsby gets murdered, ‘Daisy hadn’t sent a message or a flower’. Fitzgerald shines a negative light on this kind of behaviour and encourages his readers to see how morally and ethically wrong it is to behave in such a manner, even having Nick’s character say ‘they were careless people - tom and daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back to their money and vast carelessness’, which relates back to my first point on money. It is often disputed how Fitzgerald may be hinting at his readers that with money comes carelessness as the two characters can merely escape from their mistakes and the consequences to their actions.

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Despite the warning from Jeanie in Goblin Market, Laura’s character is still careless enough to eat the goblin fruit. The idea of free will is highlighted in Rosetti’s poem as it shows the readers that people often disobey rules but later regretting it ‘she dropped a tear more rare than pearl’. Her character is often called ‘curious Laura’ which encourages the reader to see that she is tempted by these mysterious goblin men who tempt her with the ‘fruits’. As Rosetti used to work to help fallen women, she would have come across women who were tempted and ...

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