The great gatsby and the obscene word.critical essay

Five words to describe myself, or was it four? Honest, The most popular polled Distant? Surprising really, as the words 'I' would have chosen are: Intelligent, Creative, Introspective, Responsible and Honest.

The great gatsby and the obscene word.critical essay

The Great Gatsby and the obscene word.

The great gatsby and the obscene word.critical essay

Retrieved Sep 17 from https: In a novel in which language is consistently seen to work against the demands of veracity, at least one formulation in The Great Gatsby rings true: Jay Gatsby, a figure marked by failure and shadowed by death throughout most of the novel, nevertheless achieves a form of "greatness" in the final paragraphs of his story; it is at this point, in the words of Lionel Trilling, that Gatsby "comes inevitably to stand for America itself" So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" Fitzgerald; my emphasis.

Yet this ending is in fact at odds with the characterization of Gatsby in the rest of the novel. For if Gatsby ultimately represents a glorified version of "us," then he does so only if we forget that he is for most of the novel a force of corruption: As critics have often noted, the text stakes its ending on the inevitability of our forgetting everything about Gatsby that has proved troublesome about his character up to this point.

What critics have generally overlooked, however, is the fact that the text also self-consciously inscribes this process of forgetting into its own narrative. Appearing to offer two discrepant views of its protagonist, The Great Gatsby in fact ultimately challenges its readers to question the terms through which "presence" or "visibility" can be signified.

This, to my mind, is the point of one of the most important yet least critically examined scenes in the novel: On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight and I erased it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone" Fitzgerald A fleeting, transitory scene; in the next instant, Nick is already down at the shore, "sprawled out on the sand," at which point his epiphany about Gatsby and the green light begins.

Gatsby "turn[s] out all right" only if we forget, or repress, his obscenity. In this penultimate scene, it is also a link that Fitzgerald frames explicitly in terms of signification, or rather, in terms of what eludes or threatens signification.

For by linking Gatsby with an obscene word, Fitzgerald appears to be deliberately drawing attention to the etymology of "obscene": Yet as its etymology suggests, the "signifying void" of the obscene can be understood in two ways.

On the one hand, the obscene is what eludes representation: It is similar in process to what Julia Kristeva terms "the abject": Yet the obscene is also what questions--and thus denaturalizes--the normative thrust of signification.

The obscene works against the presentable, as Mary Caputi argues, "in its determined violation of established norms, its eagerness to proclaim from beyond the acceptable, its appeal to the uncanny"7.

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Freud, speaking of "smut," defined it as an "undoing" of repression, while Bakhtin identifies "low" language "on the stages of local fairs and at buffoon spectacles" as "parodic, and aimed sharply and polemically against the official languages of its given time" Freud; Bakhtin In this second sense, the obscene predominantly functions as a threat to the conventional language of narration or the normative discourses of a nation, throwing into question the status of the acceptable or the normal, of the seemingly representable and meaningful, including the political and social hierarchies that sustain "meaning.

While Gatsby is a "mystery" for those who attend his parties, he is even more, as Nick Carraway notes, "an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words" Fitzgeraldthe essay; Sample Abstract for Paper Presentation.

Abstract is an significant part of the writing task or oral presentation because it helps to introduce the topic of the research. A successful abstract provides its readers with a brief overview of the presentation, helps them to understand the further development of the writer’s idea and the.

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Literary criticism is the evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works. It is usually in the form of a critical essay, but in-depth book reviews can sometimes be considered literary criticism. Great Gatsby vs. Holden Caulfield The Great Gatsby written By F.

Scott Fitzgerald is a novel about people, mainly Gatsby’s idea of the ‘American dream’ which can be compared easily to The Catcher in the Rye By J. D Salinger.

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Nick and Jay Gatsby are similar to Holden Caulfield. This essay centers around one of the most important yet least examined scenes in "The Great Gatsby": the moment late in the novel when Nick Carraway, wandering past Gatsby's house, catches sight of—and then erases—an obscene word scrawled on Gatsby's steps.

This essay centers around one of the most important yet least examined scenes in The Great Gatsby: the moment late in the novel when Nick Carraway, wandering past Gatsby's house, catches sigh of—and then erases—an obscene word scrawled on Gatsby's steps.

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