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The Great Gatsby

Essay by   •  January 11, 2011  •  366 Words (2 Pages)  •  812 Views

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In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the past itself and losses that have occurred in the past, are often helped out by other events in the book. This supports the thesis of George W. Layng, where he says that, “Loss is redeemed through speech.” Layng gives three very good examples from throughout the book of how this is true. He compares Gatsby’s ability to recall his past with Nick’s inability to do so. He speaks of Daisy’s longing to return to the past but failure to do so and follow through on what Gatsby asks her to do, and he analyzes the ways that the characters note the passing of time throughout the book.

In the beginning of the book, Gatsby is able to recall his past with great expressiveness and splendor, while Nick, comparatively, can barely as much as remark on his past. However, from that point on, Fitzgerald uses his speech to show Gatsby’s ruin and Nick’s rise to the point where Gatsby is finally killed and Nick is left alone with his own vivid memories. Daisy also has an excellent ability to recall past events and feelings. However, she is unable to fully return to the past as she longs to do because of the pressure of her life in the here and now. She is constantly reminded of her inability to throw everything away and join Gatsby when she sees her husband and her child. Although both of these two happenings can be considered different ways that Fitzgerald has chosen specific words to convey meaning and assuage the characters losses, both of these instances can be characterized under the same heading, passage of time. As time passes in this book, old problems seem to resolve themselves. The passage of time has left Nick’s memory blurry but meeting Gatsby inspires him to take a closer look at his life, however, over time Gatsby’s memory is indeed fading as well. The passage of time has also made Daisy realize that she can

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