An Allegorical Analysis of The Great Gatsby

An Allegorical Analysis of The Great Gatsby - Tankesley 1...

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Tankesley Lauren Tankesley Professor Newton English 2130 September 12, 2006 An Allegorical Analysis of The Great Gatsby Throughout F. Scot Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby , the reader may find hidden allusions to prominent figures in Christianity through the main characters Nick Carroway and Jay Gatsby. These allusions are hidden in the sense that it may take some knowledge of the Bible and its stories to understand. Strangely, in the end, both characters in the novel are flawed, and in a sense an antithesis to their Biblical counterparts. Nick, an omniscient character throughout the story, is impotent in the end. Also, Gatsby, a Christlike figure in the novel, earns his wealth by less-than-righteous means. Fitzgerald draws comparisons of Nick Carroway and Jay Gatsby to prominent figures in Christianity (God and Christ respectively) to symbolize the flaws of the religion. Nick Carraway parallels the Christian God, in that he is an omniscient figure throughout the novel. Nick’s position as narrator in the story gives the impression that as the observer, and perhaps chronicler, he oversees all of the activities of other characters. In this way, Nick is like God, who watches over humanity. Carraway’s omniscience is demonstrated though knowledge that he gains about people he meets. This knowledge gives him a better understanding of unraveling events, i.e. Jordan Baker’s elaborate story of Daisy’s first wedding. Since Nick is both neighbor to Gatsby and cousin to Daisy, he is an excellent choice as a raconteur. This label permits him to survey and even aid Daisy and Gatsby’s affair. Nick bears attendance at the majority of main events of the story which is 1
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Tankesley similar to God’s omnipresence. Nick Carraway and God are alike in that they do not always intervene in the matters of those around them, yet both have a constant presence. The authority that Nick holds as a narrator also demonstrates his omniscience. He controls all that the reader knows, and his viewpoint of the story dictates the reader’s opinion concerning characters and the plot. The Great Gatsby would not be same if told by another character. Nick’s perceptual narration is similar to God’s control over Christian’s view of the world. The Bible, although written by several “men of God”, is the one source of knowledge by which Christians dictate their lives. It is somewhat narrated by God
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