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Contrasts in the Great Gatsby

Tyler Simms Great Gatsby Essay Accelerated English 11 Mrs.Cameron F.Scott Fitzgerald constructed his novel, The Great Gatsby, by sculpting numerous situation and character contrasts together through out the novel to create and deliver a magnificent work of art.

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Although Fitzgerald contrasted numerous characters and situations through out the novel, there are three that are very pungent; the characters Tom Buchanan and George Wilson and Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson.

Not only were there Character contrasts, there were also situations that Fitzgerald contrasted against each other. One of them was the contrasting of the concept of the Old Money life style and the New Money life style. Tom and George not only have physical contrast, they also have contrasting lifestyles as well. Among other things, Daisy is very statuesque and “up-in-the-air” where as Myrtle s pragmatic and “down-to-earth. ” Fitzgerald uses the concept of Old and New Money to contrast lifestyles and characters in the novel.

Tom is Old Money, which means he inherited all of his riches from at least two generations into his family and does not flaunt his money. George, on the other hand, is very low class and has to work to provide for himself and his wife, Myrtle, who is committing an affair with Tom. Aside from the money aspect, Tom is “… a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner” (Fitzgerald 11). It is also made clear by Fitzgerald that Tom beats his wife and Myrtle, giving him the element of being robust and controlling.

George is a pushover from the time he is introduced until he makes a decision that ruins everything for some, and revised for others. Tom deceived George into believing that he is going to sell him a car, with no intention of doing so, but with every intension of seeing Myrtle. Not only is he a pushover, he is very gaunt with not even half the audacity of Tom. Tom’s audacity and ill temper hurt the people around him, particularly Daisy and Myrtle. Their personalities are very much apart from each other.

Myrtle is a very forward-looking person who knows {text:soft-page-break} what she wants in life, she is endowed with a strong character and vitality which distinguishes her from Daisy. Daisy’s superficiality extends to her personality. She is fragile, unstable and a confused character. While talking to Nick she said: “… I woke up with an abandoned felling and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘Alright,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl.

And I hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful fool” (Fitzgerald 21). They also married their husbands for different reasons. Myrtle says she married George because she thought he was a gentleman. She also thought he knew about good “breeding. ” On the other hand, Daisy married Tom because rich girls had to marry into money and good social status. Marrying Tom, Daisy married into the Old Money life style. The people who live by the Old Money lifestyle inherited all of their riches from at least two generations back in the family.

They also don’t flaunt their money with buying and having extravagant cars, houses, parties etc. Fitzgerald differentiates Old Money and New Money by placing them on separate sides of Manhattan. Old Money on East Egg and New Money on West Egg. Tom and Daisy live on East Egg and prefer small get-togethers. Tom and Daisy had a party and the only people who were invited were Nick and Jordan. Whereas Gatsby, who lives in West Egg and is New Money, has very extravagant parties every weekend. By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived-no thin five piece affair but a whole pit of oboes and trombones ad saxophones and violas and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums” (Fitzgerald 44). The contrast of the two lifestyles along with the characters brings the novel to a whole new level of interest. It also makes the story more interesting. Any novel that contrast any two or more subjects from with in itself, such as two or more characters or different life styles, is indeed a work of art. {text:soft-page-break} Works Cited Page Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc. , 1953.

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