Gatsby links with
The Catcher in
1 Theme in TGG: American Dream
1.1 Gatsby and Holden both share very strong and
unrealistic dreams. They both want to turn
1.1.1 Holden's dream is to be "the Catcher in the Rye" - straight
up unnattainable. He wants to make everything unchanging
so that he doesn't have to grow up and doesn't want any
children to grow up, hense "Catcher in the Rye." This can
also be seen when he describes the Museum in Chapter 16,
"The best thing about the Museum was that everything
stayed right where it was"
18.104.22.168 Both Holden and Nick live in the
present, yet are alive in the past.
22.214.171.124.1 This can be seen when Nick re-creates the past, as
if it were the present, when he describes on of
Gatsby's parties. It is also seen in the last words of
the novel. "So we beat on, boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly into the past." This is
metaphoric language and shows the detriment of
trying to recreate the past. "against the current" is
about how we try and pursue dreams that aren't
realistic and move farther away. This embodies both
Gatsby's struggle and the American Dream.
1.1.2 Gatsby's dream is to turn back time with
Daisy, the love of his life, and live a
wealthy life. The unattainability of this
dream is seen when Nick tells Gatsby,
"You can't repeat the past" and he
poignantly answers, "Why ofcourse you
2 Theme in TGG: The American Dream - Women
2.1 Both Gatsby and Holden have strong
feelings about the women that they
love and how they are involved in their
American Dream. The way in which
they execute these is different.
2.1.1 Gatsby makes no qualms about going out and getting
what he wants, in order to be with Daisy. He becomes
wealthy, just so that he can be with woman who's voice is
"full of money". Everything he does is for Daisy.
2.1.2 Holden mentions Jane, his childhood love, throughout the
novel but unlike Gatsby, he doesn't actually do anything to
get her. He says 3/4 times how he "oughta go down and
say hello to her". Shows he is passive and indecisive and
that even when he does pick up the phone, in New York, she's not
3 Theme in TGG: Wealth
3.1 Whilst in TGG, Gatsby embodies the "phoniness" in
order to get what he wants, Holden is against it.
3.1.1 Gatsby is what Holden would describe
as phony. He relies on his wealth to get
Daisy back, "He wants her to see the
house". The fact that he relies so much
on his new money and new wealth,
comes back to the time of 1920', the
126.96.36.199 Holden is different. He regards all adults as "phony"
and what's worst, they can't see their own phoniness.
This shows the disillusion Gatsby had with his
phoniness. He couldn't see how unobtainable his
American dream and how "phony" he was and his
idealism, later leads to his death.
3.1.2 Holden is embarrassed of his wealth and isn't like Gatsby,
who constantly fights to be accepted by Daisy and old
money and this shows how cynical he is towards the
American Dream. This can be because of the time he was
in, the 1950, post-war era of the atomic age (Hiroshima),
showing America's loss on innocence towards humanity, in
188.8.131.52 We can also see Holden's embarrassment in his
wealth when he talks of a former roommate who
regarded him as "Bourgeouis" and he makes a large to
3.1.3 Holden is also against the class system. This is seen
when he talks of "Old Haas" and it's another thing that
he regards as phony.
184.108.40.206 Tom in TGG is against this view and he uses
his wealth of "old money" as a way of putting
everyone in their place. His reaction to Gatsby
and Daisy's affair is alot to do with Gatsby's
class and the fact that he is "nouveau rich"
3.2 Both speak in ways that depict their social
standing. They both use "Old..."
4 Theme in TGG: Isolation
4.1 The characters in TGG and Holden in TCR, show
tendencies of isolation and being outsiders.
4.1.1 In TGG, whilst all the characters are in the
company of eachother, they are isolated
internally. Nick, himself, isolates himself from
situations entirely, making it easier for us to
trust him as an narrator. Moreover, we see his
fear of loneliness when he mentions is
aproaching 30th birthday.
220.127.116.11 At Gatsby's lavish parties, he invites so many people yet he can't
even find one of them to socialise with, hense why he wants to
leave with Nick. "Let's go to Coney Island old sport"
18.104.22.168.1 This desperation is also seen in Holden, when
he tries to do what Gatsby does with his lavish
parties and asks the cab driver if he wants to
"join" him for "Cocktail. On me, I'm loaded."
This is his only attempt to use his wealth in
order to have someone to socialise with and
shows his quest for companionship, which is
seen throughout the book.
4.1.2 Holden is an outsider and chooses to be this way. This is
different to Gatsby who was born an outsider. This can be in the
way that he wears the red hunting hat. Holden is choosing to be
against society and to grow up because he regard it as "phony".
Holden moreover, also is isolated inside and by the fact that the
book itself is in first person. Then, we first see him as an outsider
by the fact that he's not at the football game
22.214.171.124 Whilst Holden doesn't want to have any human contact,
hence the red hunting hat, it's bad for him not to. He even
talks of how watching a little boy made him feel "not so
126.96.36.199.1 This could be linked to Nick isolating himself entirely from the
TGG, marking himself as simply a narrator in "Great Gatsby's"
story. He just sees himself as an observer and watcher of