American Fiction Between The Wars (Bloom's Period Studies) by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom

- A entire view of the foremost literary pursuits in Western heritage - An creation by way of Harold Bloom and a range of serious essays offers scholarly research at the significant writers and works that outlined each one literary interval - includes a chronology of vital cultural, literary, and political occasions that assisted in shaping every one literary interval.

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If he is not linked with his parents, he is linked with Dan Cody (“the pioneer debauchee, who during one phase of American life brought back to the Eastern seaboard the savage violence of the frontier brothel and saloon”), and he shares the basic assumptions of Dan Cody’s ethics. He can be faithful to his dream but to fulfill it he has to revert to questionable means, renounce his scruples, compromise with the world and its evil ways. ” On the practical side, he is a grown man who knows how to attain his practical aim.

He might, after all win his battle, because he has prepared himself for it. But in his very strength, his sentimental purity is impaired. Gatsby builds his own fortune and puts himself, as it were in a bargaining position with Tom and Daisy, because he has somehow fulfilled her expectations of luxury and wealth. He is in any sense a self-made man, but he wants still to spring from “a Platonic conception of himself” and remain pure to his motives, at least. His motives, however, may be pure, and yet he has to resort to dubious means to make his fortune; he is thus brought to foul the purity of his actions, and the “foul dust that floated in the wake of his dreams” envelops him in the end.

2 In The Great Gatsby the motive of an impossible dream of love which riches cannot fulfill after the right moment has passed forever, finds its definitive consecration. Fitzgerald reveals the tragic implications of that dream by organizing the plot around an agonizing conflict of the moral and social The “Tragic Pastoral” 37 order and by enlarging its meaning on the symbolic level of legend and myth. The story of Gatsby and Daisy, Nick and Jordan, Tom and Myrtle has a common origin with the similar adventures of so many of Fitzgerald’s heroes and heroines.

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