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Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby Defined by a book of current literary terms, a climax is “the arrangement of a series of ideas or expressions in ascending order of importance or emphasis; the last term of the arrangement; a culmination.” Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald during the roaring 20’s, The Great Gatsby provides a look into the upper class circle of the East and West Villages of New York City. Known as East and West Egg in the novel, Fitzgerald, through the eyes of bachelor, portrays a cynical view of the high social society and the morality which it lacks. This scarcity of ethics ultimately causes the downfall of their hollow world in a clatter of broken hearts and mislead minds. The climax of The Great Gatsby takes place in a New York Hotel suite when, after many hints toward the reason for Gatsby’s company, the true nature of his presence is revealed to Tom Buchanan. Ever since Jay Gatsby returned from World War I, which swept him away from his boyhood love Daisy, he has made every indirect effort to make contact and rekindle her love for him.

Even with the knowledge that she is married and leads a separate life from his, Gatsby, without regrets, lives his life for her. When, at long last, he has the chance to interact with Daisy, he capitalizes on it immediately. With the assistance of Jordan Baker and his neighbor Nick Carraway (Daisy’s second cousin), Gatsby arranges a meeting with Daisy. At this meeting the two hearts are reunited and again would be one, if not for the plate glass barrier of Daisy’s marriage to Tom Buchanan which separates them. Originally held apart by a young boys’ ineptitude to provide for a wealthy girl, Daisy is now held back by a seemingly insincere knot of matrimony.

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This keeps the all important bonds of love to be formed between the two former lovers. Tom, a wealthy man with family history, is enlightened to the existence of this perennial relationship in a slow weave of events which explode into the climax of the novel in a New York Hotel Room during a visit by Jay Gatsby. The spark that ignites the climax tinder box is a question posed by Tom to Gatsby. “‘What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house anyhow?’ They were out in the open at last and Gatsby was content.” The openness further shows itself as the scene quickly progresses into an blitzkrieg of words, the opposing forces Tom and Gatsby. “I’ve got something to tell you, old sport, ” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.

“Please don’t!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please let’s all go home Why don’t we all go home.?”.. “She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. ” She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!” At this point Jordan and I tried to go but Tom and Gatsby insisted with competitive firmness that we remain as though neither of them had anything to conceal and it would be a privilege to partake vicariously of their emotions.

(137-8) Insults and accusations are slung as the too assault each other in a humanely cruel way until, when at the height of the climax, Daisy breaks apart. The two suitors are torn from their opposing member and focus on the revealed pain felt by the object of both their affections. “Please don’t.” Her voice was cold but the rancor was gone from it. She looked at Gatsby. “There, Jay,” she said but her hand as she tried to light a cigarette was trembling. Suddenly she threw the cigarette and the burning match on the carpet. “Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby.

“I love you now isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. ” I did love him once but I loved you too Gatsby’s eyes opened and closed. “You loved me too he repeated?”.. “She’s not leaving me!” Tom’s world suddenly leaned down over Gatsby. “Certainly not for a common swindler who’d have to steal the ring he put on her finger.”(139-40) A knock out punch, the argument soon sided itself and Tom emerged the victor from a slowly dissipating cloud of dust, Daisy his spoils.

The argument drones on, a monotone buzz of accusations, but the outcome had already been decided and the words from that point on would be swallowed by Gatsby in a big gulp of false pride. This scene in which Gatsby and Tom face off is the climax of the novel because all the events of the book lead up to that one point with a constant drone of anticipation, and the events following it, drift harmlessly towards the conclusion. From the beginning of the novel and Gatsby’s wonderfully extravagant parties, to the initial meeting of Daisy and Gatsby and the blossoming friendship between Jay and Nick, the book surmounts to that single defining moment in the hotel room in which the main characters can be seen in a shrewdly perforating light. The events which follow the fight in the hotel are also interesting, but unimportant in the end. Gatsby never lost hope that Daisy would come to him, but as soon as this hope and care arrived back to his heart, unanswered, the events that followed were no longer of importance.

Once Daisy’s love and trust in Gatsby died, so did his soul, his body was only an earthly reminder of his existence until Wilson took that also. From the moment when Daisy admitted her love to Tom was true, and that Daisy’s heart was merely a shared possession of his and Tom’s, Gatsby lost the true hope and was left with the care of a desperate man which he so vividly personified.

Great Gatsby

For centuries, men and women from all over the world have
seen in America a place where they could realize their dreams. We each
dream our own American Dream. For some it is a vision of material prosperity,
for others it can be a feeling of secure and safe. It can be the dream of
setting goals. It can be about social justice, as Martin Luther King Jr. gave
the speech of I have a dream, says In spite of the difficulties and
frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in
the American Dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and
live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal. We believe in the American Dream because it
does not fit with any temporary contentedness, rather it brings us the power for
improvement and equality. However, why does the American Dream still fall? The
Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is considered as the representative of the
decline of the American Dream, can give us some ideas of what it is about. The
Great Gatsby describes the failure of American Dream, from the point of view
that American political ideas conflict with actual conditions that exist. For
whereas American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the
truth is that social discrimination still exists and divisions among the classes
cannot be overcome. Myrtle Wilson’s attempt to break into the Buchanans fails at
last. She struggles herself to fit into an upper social group, pretends to be
rich and scorns people from her own class. She does all these because she wants
to find a place for herself in Tom Buchanan’s class but she does not succeed in
doing so. Nearly all the characters in the story are materialistic and this
included Fitzgerald himself. Fitzgerald mirrored his nation’s new attitude
toward money: he was considerably more interested in making and spending it than
in accumulating it. This is exactly what Tom and Daisy Buchanans are behaving.

The roaring twenties is immortalized as a time of entertainment of a glamorous
movie stars and singers, high fashion, leisure activities, numerous radio shows
and parties. In “Highlight of American Literature”, Dean Curry writes:
“The Great Gatsby reflects Fitzgerald’s deeper knowledge, his recognition
that wanting to be happy does not insure one’s being so and that pursuit of
entertainment may only cover a lot of pain.(182) Popular culture thrived in
this decade because of the need to escape. People wanted fun and absorbing kinds
of things to take their minds off the bleak world they saw around them.

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Basically, this dream world for most people, is to get lost when problems are
getting too big to handle. Fantasies serve a foundation for all those who do not
want to face the pressures of living in a modern world. Benjamin Franklin
believed that the only way to true wealth was through hard work. He also
believed very strongly, that all people were created equal and had the same
opportunities available to them to achieve the American Dream. However, for our
central character, Jay Gatsby, this is not quite true. Gatsby tries very hard to
transform himself from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, an Oxford man. He wants
to erase his history but in the other side, he wants to repeat the past.

He attempts to delete his past record because he does not want to involve in
poverty anymore. However, on the other hand he longs for the past because in the
past, he had a love affair with Daisy. He knows that he could not marry her
because they are of different social class. He leaves her and achieves his
American Dream. Once he becomes rich, he moves to the opposite bay to Daisy’s
house just want to be near to Daisy. He holds extravagant parties, hoping he
could see her one day. He, himself, does not attend his parties but watches them
from a distance. Gatsby’s American Dream is not material possession. He only
comes into riches so that he can fulfil his true American Dream, Daisy. However,
he fails to make his dream to come true in the end. The failure of the American
Dream is unavoidable, for reality cannot keep up with ideals, but also because
the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realized. The American
Dream also criticizes that it is also time for idealists to wake up to reality.

When the crash of October 1929 ended the biggest speculative binge in the nation’s
history, it brought the roaring twenties to a close. The thirties, remembered as
the decade of economic depression, poverty and unemployment, is also the time
our story “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams takes place.

Williams presents us a story in The Glass Menagerie with four characters who
seem to avoid reality more than facing it. The four Wingfields, including the
father, who abandoned his family to join the merchant marine years before, are
all mashed by poverty and personal problems. Amanda has had to bring up two
children alone. Tom’s shoe-warehouse job supports the whole family. Laura has
been so perplexed by a leg-brace throughout high school that she can neither
endure secretarial school nor flirt with boys. And she is truly terrified by the
world outside that she believes it can never include her. The play deals with
issues and emotions that practically everyone has had to face: Freedom towards
the burden of responsibility; love to the family towards the need to live your
own life. Tom longs to leave home and make his own adventures. He hates his job
in the warehouse and spends most of his time working on poetry and escapes into
movies. Tom and Laura have a close relationship. He cannot leave like his father
without regrets because he is too devoted to Laura, who has been crippled both
by physical disfigurement and her own extreme shyness. Laura is very shy and
does not want to be involved with the world outside of their apartment. She
collects tiny glass animals, and she treasures them more than actually
participating in daily contact with the public. She is like a wounded animal,
mirrors her own fears of failure. Amanda, an erstwhile Southern belle, clings to
the past, as she constantly reminds Tom and Laura of her seventeen gentlemen
callers. Though Amanda often retreats to memories of her past, she worries of
the present situation. She insists Tom should find Laura a husband before he
abandons them, fearing that Laura will wind up to be an gold maid. Although her
own marriage brought her nothing but poverty, still she believes a husband can
be salvable for Laura. In the story, we can see that the American Dream does not
exist – Jim tries but the Wingfields have almost given up on their lives. They
avoid reality and are so involved in their illusory world that they have no time
to work on their goals. In the end, it appears that Laura is finally overcoming
her shyness, but as she knows Jim is engaged, she returns back to her Victrola
which is also the symbol of her fantasy world. Tom determines to leave but he
sticks too much to the past memory, especially his memories with Laura. Jim is
the only one in the story that faces reality. He believes in himself. He knows
that as he works hard, one day he will achieve great success. He said,
“Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is another. I am
disappointed but I’m not discouraged.” (116). The Glass Menagerie is simple
on its surface it tells a single incident in the life of a small family. It has
no heroic characters like what we see in The Great Gatsby. The poorly born
characters in The Great Gatsby, such as James Gatz and Myrtle Wilson desire to
change and to go away from the valley of ashes. Gatsby’s dream comes from
his past and he will sacrifice everything just for the accomplishment of his
goals, while Amanda, Laura and Tom are just too obsessed to their past events.

Maybe we can conclude the decline of the American Dream by what Fitzgerald said
in his late life, France was a land, England a people, but America, having about
it still the quality of that idea, was harder to utter it was the graves at
Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and the country
boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies
withered. It was a willingness of the heart.


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