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The Great Gatsby and Six Degrees of Separation - Essay Example

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The book “The Great Gatsby” is a portrait of the American society in the early twenties. The movie revolves around Jay Gatsby, a gentleman who knows everybody and loved by all because of the lavish parties. “Men and girls come and went.Every Friday to Gatsby’s lavish parties”…
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The Great Gatsby and Six Degrees of Separation
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The Great Gatsby and the Six Degree of Separation The book “The Great Gatsby” is a portrait of the American society in the early twenties. The movie revolves around Jay Gatsby, a gentleman who knows everybody and loved by all because of the lavish parties. “Men and girls come and went...Every Friday to Gatsby’s lavish parties” (Fitzgerald 33). Nick narrates, “He had a rare smile with external assurance in them” to portray Gatsby’s attractive physique (Fitzgerald 37). His occupation is undetermined, with some suspicion of him being an illegal underworld businessman. The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s neighbor and a friend. Gatsby claimed his origin to be from San Francisco, where his wealthy family resided and he was educated at Oxford after the Great War which he participated. Later Nick learns of the truth about Gatsby, “Gatsby was like the son of God”, born James Gatz but later changed it on his seventeenth birthday. He was a son of a poor farmer.
Dan Cody becomes the mentor of Gatsby and from him he is introduced to power, privileged of being wealthy. Even with his friendship he never inherits anything from Dan Cody, but he acquires how to live and behave like a wealthy gentleman even without the actual wealth.
Six degrees of separation tell a story of a young gay hustler determined to swindle the affluent class of the privileged Upper East Side families. He uses his ability to acquire characters of different personas to impose as a son of an influential actor and a friend of the Kittredge’s children. He claims he is the son of the influential actor Sidney Poitier and uses this con to get into the lives of Ouisa and Flan Kittredge. “He desired to be like us” (Guare 31). He is eventually arrested; Paul laments “I will be treated with special care if you took me to police” (Guare 38). His arrest is due to his actions of bringing a male prostitute to Kittredge’s home.
Gatsby devoted his entire life to build his identity and acquiring wealth to regain the affection of Daisy. She was initially his girlfriend before going to war, but she gets married to Tom Buchanan a wealthy gentleman. Gatsby through his unknown means acquires immense wealth and builds his image of a generous host who throws lavish parties to strangers. “Whenever you desire to criticize any one, remember that not everybody had the advantages you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 5). Gatsby really wanted to be wealthy to be in a better position to woo Daisy back from her wealthy husband. From his house to his car, Gatsby was wealthy and was full of prestige and taste of finer things. “His mansion was splendid, his automobile so magnificent” (Fitzgerald 51). He pursues this dream and for a brief moment his dream materializes and Daisy comes back to him. He shows Daisy shirts of every color to impress her of his wealth. For a short period of time he has an affair with Daisy.
Finally Gatsby realizes the difference between, being born with money and acquiring money. Daisy chooses to stay with Tom for reasons of only known to her. He assumes the money was enough to make Daisy come back to him, but he was wrong as being born wealthy had more privileges that having acquired money. His dream dies with him when he is shot by Myrtle Wilson’s husband in avenging his wife’s death. Myrtle is hit by Daisy, who was driving Gatsby’s car and his husband shoots him for vengeance. Gatsby spent his entire life pretending to be upper elite, but when he dies, he ends up in piles among the stark of lower class with only Nick as his friend.
Paul in “six degrees of separation” is a skillful impostor. He says that “I believe the imagination is the passport we create to take us into the real world. I believe the imagination is another phrase for what is most uniquely us" (Guare 25) this explains his scheming ways. He knocks at the door of Flan, who is an art dealer and his socialite wife, Ouisa. He is able to con the couple as a result of their narrow mindedness just as was the case to most affluent Upper East Side families (Guare 34). He is able to convince the Kittredge that he is a friend to their kids and indeed the son of Sidney Poitier a famous actor. The couple is impressed with his fine, cultured taste ad his articulate knowledge about the arts. His success in his con game is achieved by his mastery of art and culinary skills and his ability to deceive people. His interesting façade makes Kittredge believe his story even more. He even gets money from the family.
His con game is successful for a while and he is able to move from one rich family to another using his charms. His con game ends with the Kittredge when he brings a male prostitute. This shocks the family and kicks him out of the house. They later learn that they were the recent victims of Paul’s duplicity among the Upper East Side families. He ends up a miserable person from total failure.
Works Cited
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Guare, John. Six degrees of separation: a play. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print. Read More
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