Counterpoint Essay

953 WordsSep 1, 20144 Pages
* The major technical device in The Great Gatsby is not so much the choice of a narrator or the use of symbolism or even scenic dramatization, but the technique of counter point in characterization, setting (including symbol and scene), and narrative structure * He places character against character, setting against setting, and one plot against another to demonstrate for the reader the moral change and ethical growth of his narrator * His valuation of character, places, and scenes is based upon their social class, individual worths, and their significance in moral and ethical terms * Change in character of Nick is due to his recognition that inflexible social conventions and moral standards are less valid than systems which judge the individual on an individual basis * It is through Nick’s enlightenment that Fitzgerald makes a comment upon the pursuit of the “American Dream.” * Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are complete opposite in the deeper aspects of their personalities. * There is nothing in Tom’s present life that would suggest either intellectual or humanitarian accomplishments * Gatsby is a man who deals in futurity, despite his belief he can recapture the past * Tom’s life is all denouement, and Gatsby’s life is all “rising action” * Where Tom’s energy is basically physical, Jay’s is essentially spiritual, the one being propelled by bodily strength, the other by visionary magnificence. * Daisy and Myrtle’s contrapuntal relationship is suggested on the narrative level by their participating in the novel’s dual romantic triangle, which has Daisy as the focal point of the one involving Jay and Tom, and Myrtle as the center of the one involving George Wilson and Tom. * Daisy and Myrtle’s contrast are shown in the ways they are seen by their lovers and then, more objectively, by Nick. * Myrtle is seen in wholly
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