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By Aditya Mynampaty, V Form
Fitzgerald Deviates from Manichaean Plots with Gatsby
Editors’ Note: In Mr. Eslick’s American Literature class, the students write paragraphs of 300 words or less at the end of each week. The aim is to work toward a thesis for a full essay.
The Great Gatsby lacks a protagonist and an antagonist: an unusual trait for a book. F. Scott Fitzgerald deviates from the standard, Manichaean plots found in most novels to demonstrate the absence of any pure good or evil people in America. The closest character The Great Gatsby has to a protagonist is the narrator, Nick, but no character in the novel is villainized or pitted against him. Fitzgerald creates characters like Gatsby, who collaborates with gamblers and match-fixers, Tom, who cheats on his wife, and Daisy, who runs over and kills a woman. Nick, however, never speaks ill of these flawed people. His unbiased narration style makes it hard to form strong feelings for characters and difficult to root for or against anyone. Even though Gatsby is the epitome of the American Dream, having worked his way to wealth from nothing, Nick never praises him. By preventing his audience from forming opinions about the characters, Fitzgerald communicates the large gray area in American personalities. There are not any virtuous or immoral people; there are Americans. (more…)
By Veera Korhonen, VI Form
“Just” An American
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
I’m just an American. Or so I thought. Growing up overseas, I was always associated with other multi-cultural kids who had a parent working for the American Embassy. As a result, I was an American and only an American. This was despite the fact I had spent more of my life out of the States than in it and I had a bi-racial background of being Finnish and Indian. When I decided to attend a small boarding school in Massachusetts, I figured I would have no problem adjusting to a new community in America. Since I was moving from Saudi Arabia, a country with a demanding set of religious laws to live by, I thought I could adapt to fit even the most extreme conditions. I had no idea that moving back to a country that I considered my own would be the hardest transition of my life. (more…)