Compare and Contrast Within the course of this report we will compare and contrast two idealists from popular novels Gatsby from Great Gatsby and Edna from The Awakening. While the authors had different visions of idealists, there are some common features in those two characters. The Awakening is about Edna’s dissatisfaction with the social constraints on women’s freedom. Being an idealist, she simply cannot accept the existing order of things. Throughout the novel, Edna feels that marriage enslaves her to an identity she for which she is not suited. The parrot is an expensive bird valued for its beauty.
The mockingbird is fairly common and plain, and it is valued for the music it provides. These two birds function as metaphors for the position of women in late Victorian society. Women are valued for their physical appearance and the entertainment they can provide for the men in their lives. Like parrots, they are not expected to voice opinions of their own, but to repeat the opinions that social convention defines as “proper” or “respectable.” The tensions in Edna’s marriage are apparent from the beginning. Leonce does not regard Edna as a partner in marriage, but as a possession. At the same time, he thinks of Edna as the “sole object of his existence.” (Chopin, p.
Edna A Woman Ahead of Her Time Playing the role of a wealthy New Orleans housewife, Edna searches for fulfillment in her conventional 19 th century life of a woman. I mention playing the role because you will discover that playing a part is all that she is doing. Even with children, a generous husband, and financial stability, Edna finds herself wanting more from life. She is a woman ahead of her ...
47) Obviously, his actions belie this belief. Leonce’s beliefs about the role of women are strictly defined by Victorian social conventions. The ideal woman is what Leonce terms the “mother woman” desire nothing other than “to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels” for their families. They are supposed to “flutter about with extended, protecting wings.” (Chopin, p. 49) Edna marvels at the permissiveness of Creole society because everyone, including women, can openly discuss the intimacies of life such as pregnancy, undergarments, and affairs. Men such as Robert can openly play at flirting with married women, and the women can openly flirt with him as well.
However, despite this outward appearance of “freedom,” a strict code of chastity is imposed. The “freedom” itself is permitted only under the expectation that no one seriously act upon it. Robert’s affectionate attentions mimic the standard of courtly love, an essentially medieval concept. Courtly love is not a love that is consummated physically. Outside marriage, this is the only kind of love a woman can have without losing her social respectability. During her six years of marriage, Edna did not see herself as an individual with desires and opinions of her own. However, the seeds for her rebellion against social conventions were already latent. Even as a young child, she was aware of the tension between “the outward existence which conforms” and “the inward which questions.” (Chopin, p. 101) Her “awakening” to her own individuality consists of allowing the questioning inner self to direct her actions rather than conforming to outward expectations of feminine behavior.
After Edna discovers that Robert is leaving, she returns to her home and exchanges her dinner gown for a “comfortable, commodious wrapper.” (Chopin, p. 89) Edna’s shedding of more layers of constricting Victorian dress occurs in conjunction with another rebellion against social convention. When Mrs. Lebrun requests Edna’s company, conventional rules of behavior require Edna to be polite and visit. She would have to dress again, and she does not want to reassume her constricting clothing. Leonce’s response to her rebellion is to awaken Edna to the reality of social conventions. He complains about the dinner’s quality and states that the cook is getting out of hand. He says that everything goes straight to chaos if one allows the servants to run things the way they want. He adds that his business would go to chaos if he allowed his employees to run things the way they want.
Our environment dictates how we live our lives and how we handle situations. Our environment also dictates how the people around us handle our death. Death is one important social convention of a society depicted in The Call of the Wild, Garden Party, the Great Gatsby, Bone, and Dulce Et Decorum Est. Death and the handling of death is a social convention portraying values and ways of living in two ...
Edna becomes furious when she realizes that Leonce has been referring to her all along. She is the one running things the way she wants, and she is causing the chaos he dislikes so much. Edna throws her wedding ring to the ground because it symbolizes her entrapment within constricting conventions. Her husband has just equated her status with that of a wayward servant or a paid employee. He provides her with a lavish home, so she owes him her complete submission. Fitzgerald explicitly connects Gatsby to the Romantic Idealist as classically defined.
A romantic is someone who uses the imagination, who has a strong sense of individuality, uniqueness and sometimes a quest, a goal for passion. Alternately an idealist focuses on the metaphysical and attempts to transcend reality. Gatsby is bluntly linked to these definitions. Emphasizing Gatsbys idealism Fitzgerald claims that Jay sprang from his platonic conception of himself. He was a son of godand must be of his fathers business (Fitzgerald, p.104) He goes on to say, to this conception he was faithful to the end. (Fitzgerald, p.104) Gatsby grew up in a middle class family under the name of James Gats. His parents were unsuccessful farm people and he needed to create an image of himself that was, to him, more respectable; changing his name was the first thing.
Another time that Gatsby is literally connected to a Romantic Idealist is his quest to get Daisy. He pursued her much like a night pursues a grail. He finds a way to make money, purchasing a big house in west egg and throws huge parties all for the purpose of getting Daisy. so that Daisy would be just across the bay (Fitzgerald, p.83).
He does anything he can to get in her favor. In turn, to achieve his goal of Daisy, Gatsby must try to turn back time; five years have passed for Gatsby while he tried to become suitable in Daisys eyes and he must find away to over come this gap.
Gatsby is not only portrayed as a Romantic Idealist literally but also figuratively. Gatsby creatively creates a unique fantasy world, full of possessions and actions that help further mirror his traits. His house is a large medieval castle with many rooms. The location is no less it extraordinary; it sits on, more than 40 acres of lawn and garden (Fitzgerald, p. 9).
Does Gatsby love Daisy or the aura of wealth that she owns? The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece about various themes such as class, love and wealth. One of the themes highlighted is romantic affair between two main characters: Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby is clearly obsessed with Daisy, however, it is doubtful that those strong feeling is a proof of love. This essay ...
At one of Gatsbys parties Nick meets a man named owl eyes in the library of Gatsbys house. Owl eyes brings up the fact about the books, how he expected them to be just cardboard covers, and talks about them not being fake confessing, It fooled meIts a triumph.
What thoroughness! What realism! (Fitzgerald, p.50) Gatsbys car is also a strong image. The symbol of American wealth and great success, Gatsbys car is a rich cream color, very large and a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns. (Fitzgerald, p.68) The interior is green with many hatboxes, supper-boxes and toolboxes. The car also has a three-noted horn. Obviously, this is three times more than any car needs, showing off his uniqueness, as well as his wealth, to the extreme. Gatsbys persona is yet another element of his Romantic Idealism. On his return from World War two, he creates an imaginative false history for himself for the sole purpose of looking better to people. He has pictures from when he visited Oxford and he tells everyone that he graduated from there.
He did go there after the war but only for a short time. Tom, after doing research finds that he didnt go there long and tells Nick and Jordan Baker about it. An Oxford man! Like hell he is! (Fitzgerald, p.129) The main reason Gatsby even tried to go there was to make a name for him self so Daisy would find him more attractive. He couldnt only work on self-improvement for daisy is much too shallow. He needed material possessions to show off his wealth. His appearance is something that he changes too, little gimmicks for sake of looking like he has some heritage.
To try to show that he has an aristocratic background he throws in Old sport to the end of sentences. Similarly, Gatsby throughout the story wears a unique pink suit that makes him stand out, as well as bright shirts; making him stand out even more, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel which lost there folds as they fell (Fitzgerald, p.97).
Gatsby talks about how he has a man from England buy his clothes and he starts throwing them about the room one by one. F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays Gatsby as a Romantic Idealist throughout the whole novel. He is a Knight who protects and searches for his grail. He is Christ who pays for others sins.
AND THE BAND PLAYS ON. Time tells us that success often comes with a price. Often money will create more problems than it can solve. The richness of a person's soul can be hidden in the folds of money. Such is the case of Jay Gatsby. Jay Gatsby is constantly altering in the readers mind due to the various puzzling events that transpire in the novel creating a level of mystery. First off, Gatsby is ...
And he is also a dreamer who strives for the impossible. All of this contributes to making him unique, an individual and helps him transcend reality. How else can a Romantic Idealist be? Words Count: 1,461.
Chopin, K. The Awakening. New York: Harper Collins, 1997. Fitzgerald, S.
Great Gatsby. New York: Random House, 1987..