Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby and Aldous Huxleys Brave New World are classic examples of how societies can be similar in the vices adopted by human beings. They show how behavior and attitudes are shaped by the demands of the society. For instance, in The Great Gatsby, characters lives are driven so much by instant gratification. They believe that they are supposed to have everything they want immediately. This is the result of extreme wealth. Conversely, in the Brave New World, the feelings of instant gratification have resulted from the system design. The system has shaped people to believe that happiness can only come when given individual needs are satisfied. Success in that society, thus, is measured on prosperity and economic growth. The Great Gatsby have similarities and differences in such matters as the hollowness evident among the Upper Class citizens, consumerism and instant gratification, the decline of such values as those described by the pursuit of the American Dream, and the divide between the wealthy and successful and other average citizens.
As far as the decline of American Dream values is concerned, The Great Gatsby, at least on the surface, captures the lives of a man and a woman and their thwarted love. The decline of values associated with the American Dream, however, is the less romantic theme on which the story is told. This was an era characterized by material excess and unprecedented prosperity. Jordan mentions that Gatsby gives large partiesCITATION Dav05 \p 54 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 54). Making reference to the excesses of the society of the time. This was the grounds upon which the moral and social values decay was set. The greed, cynicism, as well as, the emptiness in the pursuit of pleasure is evident in the reckless jubilance which the decadent parties portray. Noble goals are replaced by desire for pleasure and money. Thus, the corruption of moral values. Carraway observes that only gradually did I become aware that the automobiles which turned expectantly into his drive stayed for a minute and then drove sulkily awayCITATION Dav05 \p 116 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 116). This was an indication of how temporary associations and friendships formed from the wild parties would last. They end as fast they began. With them, the values and dreams that Gatsby had.
The demons that characterize the decline of values in The Great Gatsby as also existent in Brave New World. There is a very high level of dehumanization so much so that human values are seen as strange. Penina, for instance, tells Bernard that When the individual feels, society reelsCITATION Rei10 \p 69 \l 1033 (Reiff 69). Additionally, there is too much consumption of drugs just as is seen in The Great Gatsby. Huxley indicates the in the Brave New World, People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get...And if anything should go wrong, there's somaCITATION Rei10 \p 220 \l 1033 (Reiff 220). In this world, things are different. Happiness comes from strange achievements and material wealth. It is through material wealth that certain things like the soma drug is bought for the temporary solution of the disappointments that life can bring.
In The Great Gatsby, the old aristocracy portray the emptiness that wealth has brought in East Egg. These are the wealthy Upper Class with old money. They do not care whether they hurt people or not. While they have taste and grace, they show no care for other people outside their class. They consider the newly rich like Jay Gatsby as outsiders who are encroaching into their world. When Gatsby dies, they do not want to attend his funeral. One of them quips that when a man gets killed I never like to get mixed up in it in any wayCITATION Dav05 \p 173 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 173). And yet, they counted themselves as his friends when he was alive. Those from West Egg like Carraway and Gatsby, on the other hand, still have a sense of humanity in them. The wealth has not consumed them. Carraway, for instance believes he still has the good heart he had before moving to New York. He says Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever knownCITATION Dav05 \p 64 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 64). In this world, the society is very judgmental. Reputation, rumors and appearance are the basis upon which the Upper Class with old money judge others, and also the basis upon which they restrict themselves.
The society in the Brave New World is judgmental and hollow mainly because the uniformity that has been engineered into the society has made it like that. In the event that these people encounter anything which is not fitting into the mold carefully designed for their world, or into set rules, they see such things as mistakes. In describing this world, Mond quips: All our science is just a cookery book, with an orthodox theory of cooking that nobody's allowed to question, and a list of recipes that mustn't be added to except by special permission from the head cookCITATION Hux00 \p 225 \l 1033 (Huxley 225). This is a strange world indeed with such beliefs pointed out by Mond that stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortuneCITATION Hux00 \p 221 \l 1033 (Huxley 221).
The world of instant gratification in Brave New World is messed up. Technology has changed things. If you want to feel a certain way, you simply take a pill and your needs are met. Mustapha Mond says There's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now alluding to how fast feelings can be achieved; gratificationCITATION Hux00 \p 238 \l 1033 (Huxley 238). Anyone who does not conform to this school of thought is seen as a rebel and missing out. Mond tells Savage, you're claiming the right to be unhappy simply because he saw things differently and does not feel soma should be the solution to everything, especially emotions and feelingsCITATION Hux00 \p 240 \l 1033 (Huxley 240).
The Great Gatsby, captures the lives of a number of characters who were so ingrained in getting instant gratification. These include Tom, with old money and the women he sees who want the high life without working for it. Wealth makes them think they can get whatever they want whenever they want. Jay Gatsby himself thought he would buy his way into the Upper Class and be accepted without any questions. Tom is self-centered and does not care for Daisy. He says And what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the timeCITATION Dav05 \p 252 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 252). Tom believes the fact that he can cheat when he wants to is good, but this is not the case. On another note, talks about social norms in an attempt at disapproving of Gatsbys activities and background. To this he says, I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wifeCITATION Dav05 \p 230 \l 1033 (Davies and Fitzgerald 230).
The worlds in The Great Gatsby and Brave New World are similar in more ways than one. Vices such as drug abuse are seen as normal and morals are eliminated. Even so, there are characters like Nick and Savage who are still sober and portray the point that humanity still exists even in such chaos and messes. They show that it does not reward to try so hard to conform to a certain group and their ways. Gatsby tries so hard to fit into the Upper Class but fails in the end. Similarly, Savage commits suicide because the Brave New World was too much for him to handle. It was different and conflicted with his beliefs.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Davies, David Stuart and Scott F. Fitzgerald. The great Gatsby & the diamond as big as the Ritz. London: Collector's Library, 2005. Print.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave new world revisited. New York: HarperPerennial, 2000. Print.
Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Aldous Huxley : Brave new world. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2010. Print.
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SuperbGrade website, please click below to request its removal:
- Lessons Obtained from Taking a Disaster Management Course
- History of Feminism
- Essay on Effectiveness of Community Policing
- The Copernican Revolution
- Using Reading and Writing to Learn In an Environment Rather Than a Classroom
- Total Quality Management and Porters Competitive Strategies
- Knowledge Management: Case Study of World Bank
- Internal Environment Analysis: Strengths, Weakness, and Their Evaluation
- Before and After Photos: Regulation and Compliance in Healthcare
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
- Background about the ColourPop Company
- Gender Expectations in Birdsong by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie