Essay about The Great Gatsby And The Things They Carried

1091 Words Jan 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
In the two novels, The Great Gatsby and The Things They Carried, Jay Gatsby and Lieutenant Cross share a common obsession with the past. Both men embellish and spend a great amount of time trying to recreate the past. Gatsby’s unrelenting love for Daisy consumes his every thought, while Lieutenant Cross’ daydreaming about his sweetheart lead to his men’s demise in the jungles of Vietnam. While reflecting on the past can be productive, to dwell upon it or try to recreate it is detrimental to personal progress. Gatsby and Lieutenant Cross both exhibit a fixation on the past which inhibits their ability to live fully in the present.
Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy never extinguished after the burning chemistry they had during their brief encounter in Louisville back in 1917. Gatsby moved to New York after World War I in an effort to reunite with her and reignite her love. Nick Carraway, the story’s narrator and close friend of Gatsby, was dubious about Gatsby’s romantic plans. ‘“I wouldn’t ask too much of her,’ I ventured. ‘You can’t repeat the past.’ ‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’ He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. ‘I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,’ he said, nodding determinedly. ‘She’ll see’’’ (110). Not only is Gatsby lacking a realistic viewpoint on what is temporally possible, but he also willfully denies that people and their…

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