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The Winnower | The parallel between Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Our Latest on Instagram. Gatsby is not like Kerouac melts in the risky American identity, but he means to be a white pure American. Nevertheless it is the isolation and the racial and social worries after the Cold War and World War One that creates such images in the two novels. Like Gatsby, the woman is also considered an object for men and society.
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She appears as a game for the man and she aspires to get married to a wealthy man so that she can achieve the social progress. For example, Daisy , despite her love for Gatsby, she decided to get married toTom Buchanan for his fortune. She knows that if she get married of Gatsby, she will not gain the same fancy status in the society because Gatsby is from the west who has unknown origin.
That is to say he might be black or Jewish. At the same time, Myrtle, another blonde character is killed at the end of the novel as her husband discovers that she has a relationship with Tom. For Tom, Myrtle is just a sex object too.
Additionally, there is another theme that both of the writers share but with different view and opinion. It is the racial worries of the African Americans which does not pursue the ideology of the American Dream. The American Dream means that all men are equal. However, in both of the novels, there is misinterpretation from the Americans to the American Dream.
The white society has fears from the blacks. In On the Road , Kerouac gives a lot of brutal discretions for the blacks, first he describes them as a Negro which is a term that refer to discrimination.
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Second, he gives brutal pictures about them for example as they steal the money. This image as one critic says, Grace, is depicted to show again how the Americans perceive the blacks. He did not depict them superior in the novel. Rather he depicts them brutal. However, there is another critic who has a different point of view. The using of the word Negro seems to romanticize them to help them get their rights; especially that this novel was published in fifties in coincidence with the Civil Right Movement in s. Moreover, the protagonists in both novels share the feeling of nostalgia to Jazz music.
Like Gatsby whose Jazz music represents an in heritage of his culture and part of his culture as he might be a black, Kerouac also use Jazz music. There could be a connection though between The Great Gatsby and On the Road, it is the jazz music and the nostalgia to this kind of music. Like Gatsby, Kerouac also uses jazz music to represent his inheritance and cultural background as he is non- white, a French man.
It represents him as he an outcast man by the non-whites people.
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Kerouac uses this kind of music in his novel to reflect himself and his group as outsiders who are isolated from the rest of the society. Indeed, this shows how the society looks at them as they are from another culture or their origin is from another country. The only difference here is that Kerouac moves from the East: New York towards the West coast because he finds that life there is simpler. He finds the American Dream in being with people and in community.
Moreover, he finds the almighty America in the West land where the mountain and nature are there. It is in nature where all people are together and share their life with each other. The situation is different from Gatsby. The end of the two novels has a lot of similarities. In the end, both of the writers depicts the corruption of American Dream: Moreover, as once critic, Richard William says that both of the writers ended with the same aim but with different setting.
He ends his novel by saying that: On the one hand, Fitzgerald still believes that the American Dream can be achieved one day and all men will be equal.
The parallel between Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Indeed there is a big difference between the views of the two writers. In the end, both of the writers: Jack Kerouac and F. Scott Fitzgerald have a deep insight of perceiving the American Dream and its corruption by the misinterpretation of people. The American Dream should mean all men all equal in opportunity, but people in America after World War II and World War I misuse the meaning of it and understood it as a competition among people for getting money and pursuing after wealth.
Scott Fitzgerald find many critical aspects that reflect the misconception of the ideology of the American Dream. They mention that the men desire the blonde woman as a way to achieve a social success. Pal in On the Road have sex with many blonde girl while the other girls of color are marginalized. In The Great Gatsby , Gatsby dreams to get married of Daisy, the blonde woman, so as also to achieve a social and economic success.
Despite this picture of the blonde woman, both of the writers depict the woman either as a sexual object or as a marginalized woman and housewives.
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Besides the anxiety of the African-Americans, there is a representation for Jazz music as part of their history. Nevertheless, they share the same end as Gatsby is looking at the green light and Sal is sitting on the river. However, Kerouac is more pessimistic about the future of America as he depicts Sal watching the darkness prevail the west land.