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The Great Gatsby And Death Of A Salesman

1497 words - 6 pages

Events causing protagonist’s downfall

Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Miller's Death of a Salesman both ultimately lead to each of the protagonists' downfall. Both Gatsby and Willy arouse as two quite powerful, and wiseful men. A drastic amount of changes of events occur in these novels, which can physically and mentally influence the characters. The major influences are: dreams/goals, illusions, and the past. These are the key factors that lead to Willy and Gatsby's downfall.

Willy, the protagonist from Death of a Salesman has dreams throughout his life that he is hoping to accomplish. Willy’s first dream is becoming a successful business man. An ...view middle of the document...

Gatsby invests in a house across from Daisy and Tom Buchanan so that he could be closer to her. Gatsby also tries to enforce the fact that he has money, just like her husband Tom. Everything that Gatsby has purchased, he purchases to gain her attention (the yellow car, his house across from hers and Toms). Gatsby, at first, is trying to gain Daisy’s attention, but now he wants to take her away from her husband. An example would be when Nick exclaims "He spoke as if Daisy's reaction was the only thing that mattered" (Fitzgerald 136). Gatsby never achieves his dreams of possessing Daisy as his “one and only”.

Illusion through the concept of lying, is a major theme in Death of a Salesman. This is because to the viewer (those watching), the wealthy life seems ideal, but on the inside there is a vast amount of lying that takes place.Willy is a consistent liar, so much so that his sons follow in his footsteps and do the same thing. An example would be when Biff turns to Happy and says, “You big blow, are you the assistant buyer? You’re one of the two assistants to the assistant aren’t you?” (Miller 131). Biff confronts Happy in front of their mother and says that he lies about his occupation in being the assistant buyer of his company. Throughout the entire novel, there is a great deal of lying occurring.Willy often proposes lies to benefit his family (The Loman’s) make them seem better than they appear. An example of this would be when Biff says “We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!” (Miller 131). This quote demonstrates the Loman family rarely ever tell, the truth. The Loman family compulsively lie, about themselves because they are not pleasant with who they are as individuals.

In The Great Gatsby lying is also a major part of the novel. Things may not always be as great as what they seem. Gatsby also prefers to lie to make himself look like a better individual because he does not think that his true self is good enough. Gatsby lies about attending Oxford. An example would be when Nick says, “He looked at me sideways- and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase ‘educated at Oxford’”(Fitzgerald 64). Jordan tells Nick that she believes Gatsby is lying about attending Oxford. When Gatsby and Nick are having lunch, Gatsby is repeating what he told Jordan, and as Gatsby hurries the phrase ‘educated at Oxford’. However, Nick notices that there is a possibility that he is lying. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel becomes friends with Gatsby. From what Nick observes, he knows Gatsby has the ability of being a compulsive liar. An example is when Nick narrates, “Gatsby may lie a lot, but he’s not very good at it” (Fitzgerald 84). Nick and many other people know that he is not very good at speaking the truth. Gatsby lies because he wants himself to look better. Gatsby has a thing about him where he is almost like a people-pleaser. He likes people to think the best of...

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