Waste Land And Great Gatsby Essay Research

Waste Land And Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper

An examination of the connection between F. Scott Fitzgerald?s novel, The

Great Gatsby, and T.S. Eliot?s poem, ?The Waste Land,? reveals that

Fitzgerald transposes the meanings and motifs of ?The Waste Land? to The

Great Gatsby. For instance, the poem begins with: April is the cruellest month,

breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. Eliot sees the renewal of life

doomed from the beginning, as in the end it will die anyway. Similarly, in The

Great Gatsby, Gatsby tries to repeat the past and live his fantasy, yet he will

never be able to achieve it. In addition, another example is the physical

description and resemblance of both of the landscapes. In The Great Gatsby, the

valley of ashes, like Eliot’? is a "waste land.? Eliot enters into the

barren land and describes how the roots ?clutch? infertile ground,

desperately seeking to gain something out of nothing. The valley of ashes is

alike with its ?fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and

hills and grotesque gardens.? These descriptions suggest that no life forms

can ever exist in the harsh environment and that the waste lands offer no

forgiveness. The characters? adrift nature is yet another example. In ?A

Game of Chess,? the woman says despairingly: What shall I do now? What shall I

do? . . . What shall we do to-morrow? What shall we ever do? Likewise, Daisy

says in the first chapter: What?ll we plan? What do people plan? And once

again in chapter seven: What?ll we do with ourselves this afternoon, and the

day after that, and the next thirty years? The actions of these women show that

they do not know how to manage their time wisely and they waste it. Finally, the

similarities between Owl-Eyes and Tiresias can be pointed out. Owl-Eyes has

these ?enormous owl-eyed spectacles,? is blind, ?but perceptive.? In the

same way, Tiresias is also blind, but he foresees all. Both characters represent

the eye of the mind. In conclusion, T.S. Eliot?s ?The Waste Land,? is

influential to The Great Gatsby. Conversely, both of these fantastic works of

literature share many of the same meanings and motifs.


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