Comparison between " The Great Gatsby" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

Essay by danie_lHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2004

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What do you see as the relationship between the two texts you have studied?

How are form, structure and image used in each of the two texts you have studied?

The study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's definitive American novel "The Great Gatsby" and Anthony Minghella's emphatic film, "The Talented Mr. Ripley", portray to me that the prevalent theme relating the two texts is the corruption and disillusionment of The American Dream.

Both texts articulate the corruption of The American Dream relative to their specific contexts. "The Great Gatsby", conveys values of social acceptance and the importance of identity and wealth, during the 1920's. Fitzgerald situates the novel's protagonist, Jay Gatsby, to endorse the harsh realities and barriers of social class and wealth, separating Gatsby's fraudulent image of The American Dream and the idyllic world he seeks with Daisy Buchanan. In Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", Minghella demonstrates the extreme transformation of Tom Ripley, into a character with wealth, and social status.

Tom Ripley strives to be the successful embodiment of The American Dream, as he reinvents his character into that of Dickie Greenleaf. Both composers have utilised comparative aspects of form, structure and image to depict the relationship between the texts and the idea of corruption and disillusionment of The American Dream.

The novel is presented through the unblemished and subjective view of Nick Carraway's first person narration. This allows us to perceive the novel from the judgment of a character impervious to the contextual pressures of social status, wealth and corruption. Fitzgerald employs Nick to expose the emptiness and cynicism of The American Dream, throughout the social hierarchy. The "old money", representing the generational aristocracy, comprises the Buchanan's, Tom and Daisy. They convey a superficial and egotistical image, with Nick evaluating them as "careless...