Essay on The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1032 Words Jul 7th, 2015 5 Pages
The Great Gatsby/The Catcher In The Rye
Compare/contrast Essay

Jay Gatsby from the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Holden Caulfield from the book Catcher In The Rye by D.J. Salinger are characters who share many similarities. Both characters have unrealistic dreams, but throughout their novels, they learn the reality of their false fantasies. They both escape their past life, detach themselves from society, and realize the reality of their false fantasies. Both characters drift away from reality and drift toward their fantasy. First off, both characters escape their past life to chase their dreams. Jay Gatsby escapes from his past life of poverty to chase his American dream. He escapes his family, gets on a boat and finds a wealthy man. In chapter 4, Gatsby explains to Nick, “I’ll tell you God’s truth … I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West” (Fitzgerald 70). This shows that Gatsby is trying to cover up his past life. He does not want to be seen as a man who came from a poor background because it would ruin his reputation, and potentially ruin his goal of the American dream. However, Holden does not care about his reputation. He leaves his current school, Pencey Prep, because he wants to get away from this school and become the catcher in the rye, which in this case is his unrealistic fantasy. When Holden says to Phoebe, “lawyers are all right, I guess - but it doesn’t appeal to me” (Salinger 172) it shows that Holden doesn’t have much…

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