"In the Great Gatsby all characters in love are powerless"

Alicia Horrigan
Note by Alicia Horrigan , updated more than 1 year ago
Alicia Horrigan
Created by Alicia Horrigan over 5 years ago


all those in love are powerless

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I agree, the Great Gatsby represent's those in love as powerless. However, to a certain extent I can also disagree, those in love aren't respected to adopt a commemorative power based on the class divide of those who belong in an upper class background as opposed to someone of lower social standard. I believe its fair to argue, characters of aristocratical decent aren't capable of love, but usually adopt the most power in twentieth century American society. However, those in love such as George Wilson aren't handed down the wealth of society, but instead have to build their own "American dream" to receive a somewhat form of power from others as well as themselves. Therefore, whatever they lack for in power they make up for with the capability to appreciate love. Alternatively, dominant characters such as Tom Buchanan represent power in the novel but isn't necersarrily in love. Fitzgerald's capability to present him as the most villainous character throughout the novel , uses his power similar to how he abuses his wealth,to use to his own advantage. Whatever Tom lacks in morals he ensures in physical power, he stands tall with a "body capable of enormous leverage", therefore furthers the impression he is tainted with strong and "hulking" qualities. However, it's qualities such as these and his "blue blood" title which maintain his power and marriage. It's debatable Tom isn't in love with his wife, they share their wealth among themselves and become similary just as egocentric as one another, although they share this act of intimacy its predictable it isn't love. However, Tom's capability of love only extends to his material possessions, its clear he upholds a signature pride within his inherited wealth rather than receiving the impression he is a "cruel man" that Fitzgerald aims to portray. However, in contrast Gastby the man between two overriding societies between wealthy and poor represent a fair outlook on judgement compared to Tom ,he is powerless. He does not particularly want Daisy, but he is incensed when someone else wants her and will really "love" her. She is his possession, and he does not like to lose what is his. This suggests the idea his marriage is similar to his "polo ponies", something he can radiate power from. Gatsby, a powerless figurehead in quite on the contrary, he is a man of love with little power, unlike Tom his wealth is achieved for a purpose, Daisy. His love for his power is minor and one of the secondary advantages to gaining Daisy's attention, his mansion is a symbolic factor although it doesn't achieve him power he is able to prove his love for an unknowing Daisy respectively, as Gatsby is aware Tom has natural superiority. Therefore, its impressionable Gatsby has a sudden urgency to reunite with Daisy. When he's caught lying when pulling "one of his little stunts", Gatsby doesn't care. As he sees it, everyone is engaged in some kind of deception, including Tom's friends. But Tom has different standards, double standards, it suggests Tom is more concerned about the damage to his image, as Daisy has over time become his property, property at which he showcases at her expense which demonstrates their relationship predictably isn't out of love.In contrast, alike to social standard of upper to middle class men and women, Jay Gatsby asides himself throughout the novel to break away from the traditional mold of the upper enchalons of society. Like anyone he is cable of loving a significant other with minor power in the retrospective of gaining Daisy, but none the less ensures power is representative in the green light. The green light is emblematic of distance, the further Daisy and Gatsby become, the further the distance her marriage. Its open to the suggestion , Gatsby gains power from rekindling his love with Daisy. Gatsby is an ambitious gentleman , somewhat juvenile who believes you can always "repeat the past", Gatsby believes he can pursue visions of their future determined on their own pasts. However, it could also suggest his short heartened relationship allowed the idea of her to become an obsession, her indifference allowed her to become a goal of Gatsby's which dominates his determination into force within his life. Nick shares the idea he has fallen "short of his dream" which was left "still diminished", Gatsby's vision of Daisy is way exceeding than the real Daisy. Maybe this is one reason she ends up with Tom who she knows she can't ever live up to who she was for him, suggesting Gatsby's power is still continuing even though his love is viewed by others as naive. One thing is certain, while Gatsby pitifully fails to grasp the light at the end of his pier, his confession of love is not a falsehood.Finally, George Wilson the least respectable character identified by the upper class as the least powerful figure within the novel. Both Wilson and his wife live amongst the valley of ashes, a symbolism of the decline of American society in the 1920's. The valley of ashes penultimately resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals, representing the unachievable success expected for traditional working class individuals such as Mrtyle and Wilson. Wilson also lacks power within his material wealth which effects his marriage, he is inevitably in love with his wife by acting like a "gentlemen" however, his wife Myrtle looks down amongst her husbands power. Wilson is hard-working and not cheating on his spouse, he's in a marriage with a woman who doesn't love or respect him, therefore suggest the idea Tom's power ironically, makes George appear as his weaker superior. Although Wilson isn't aware of Mrtyle's infidelity, dramatic irony is created as Wilson's power is diminished further as his wife becomes too absorbed to attract money rather than be capable of love, as she claims "she made a mistake". Suggesting not one of the same class can either be content within each others company, Wilson reminds us that, unlike the rich careless classes, the lower classes can't just retreat "back into money". Wilson and his class actually have to take responsibility for their actions, this confirms his class power as those of a powerful status such as Tom and Daisy can retreat back into their wealth, as for what they possess in "old" aristocracy they seem to lack in heart. Therefore, unlike Wilson they use their money and power to ease their minds as well as their corrupt relations with one another. In conclusion, I agree those in love are powerless which is reflected within the novel. Fitzgerald uses the people with no money to convey a strong message. Nick, although he comes from a family with a bit of wealth, doesn't have nearly the capital of Gatsby or Tom. However, their "conspicuous consumption" is vast, their power is varied, love is presented with only the ideal portrayl of power. Fitzgerald implies its the "fundamental decencies" that are given out at birth, those who are lucky enough become too unified in their wealth to appreciate the values, naturally should be taught at birth regardless of class divide, such as loving a significant other. Therefore can't possibly have the same refinement, sensibility, and taste they have compared to noble figures such as Gastby who present love ever evolving in those who appear powerless in their ambition where presence of power is deteriorated. Alicia Horrigan

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