Last Updated 18 Apr 2017

Wearing a Mask, Making a Contrast

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Alex Lu 2012/10/24 ENG2100+2150 Professor Lombardi Wearing a Mask, Making a Contrast “Under the Red, White, and Blue then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry ‘Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you! ’” This beautiful and connotative quote appears at the beginning of the novel, The Great Gatsby. Gatsby wearing his gold hat, a kind of masks represent wealthy and upper class, dream one day he could have Daisy again.

As a matter of fact, not only Gatsby, but also other main characters involved in this masterpiece all put on their own false fronts in order to chasing their dreams of life. However, the reality makes them back to earth. Those contrast between dream and reality happened in the novel deeply express their characteristic so far as to the true reason of the Great Gatsby’s tragedy. First of all, Gatsby, who appears in the title of novel, is the most significant character we should analysis.

His false fronts can be concisely concluded from the quote at the very beginning---The Golden Hat, a simple but accurate symbol, show readers that Gatsby live a very luxury but vacuous life; it seems that Gatsby who wearing a brilliant hat dance and bounce in order to cheer Daisy up, hope those material stuff, which also let Gatsby lose Daisy, can help him win Daisy back. * Gatsby deliberately builds up an image that a secret rich man who hold luxurious parties every night, Meanwhile, no one knows him clearly include his only friends Nick.

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The following piece of writing, which impressed me most in whole story, can show that Gatsby try his best to leave everyone a good impression, a gentle man he is. “It faced - or seemed to face - the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. His image deed helped him gain so many attentions of Daisy and false friendship, which make him feel satisfied. Nevertheless, this kind of false front not only became a tough shield at last that keeps all right values as well as real Daisy away from his mind, but also bounds him tightly, because of which, at Gatsby’s funeral, only did Nick and Gatsby’s old father attended. In this situation, I contend that it is his false front, which Gatsby want to contain, destroy his dream of Daisy and furthermore an American dream. Next, I believe that Daisy is a very complicated woman, who still has desire to chasing true love; not only a mammonist. Nonetheless, because of the fact that Daisy was raised up by an old money family, she wasn’t able to abandon those wealthy life and constraint from old money. Acting as an elegant lady who come from Noble family gradually become her false front. * I contend that her false front make her become a totally loser in love. As I mentioned above, Daisy was a girl raised up in a rich environment.

Lavish party and social contact with different rich guy had already become part of her life or even her value. I don’t think Daisy is a devil who only cares about money and power like lots of people comment. On the contrary, she expects a lover who deed loves her will appear one day. Coincidence is that Gatsby run her lives when she found Tom have a mistress. If she was a materialist, she would leave Tom immediately without any hesitation. As the matter of fact, she didn’t do it.

Even when Gatsby and Tom quarreled together about who Daisy loved truly, Daisy said that, "I did love him once - but I loved you too.. " According to her words, she still had a tender side instead of a money search engine. The mask she put on is the key that cause Daisy’s complicated feeling about Tom and Gatsby. On the one hand, she wanted to keep her arrogant figure, whereas she wanted to chase love either, which leads the conflict in Daisy’s heart. Finally, Daisy lost her last opportunity to abandon the whole stale tradition. In this layer, she is definitely a loser and a tragic character. Finally, although most readers of the Great Gatsby have believed that Nick may be the only good rational person in the novel, I contend that he put on his mask either. Nick is a common youngster after world war one who wanted to live in upper class, whereas didn’t know whether he can get used to it. So, he met his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, an old money, in order to participate in their social hub. In the novel, Nick was disturbed by Tom and Gatsby and give in finally, even if he didn’t want to join their countless party and other social activities.

Nick put on his false front to pretended that he was one of them, those upper class people, because of which, he experience this whole tragedy. At last, just like Nick himself said that he gets tired of all those crazy people. Thanks to his mask, he was able to see upper class crystal clear. * Those masks mentioned above isolated each character. With the help of masks, each character created a gap between their heart and their appearance. It is those un-bridged gap made by false front result in the final tragedy.

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