The Crucible & the Great Gatsby Essay

The Crucible & The Great Gatsby THE GREAT GATSBY uses symbols to represent the hollowness of the upper class. East vs West is the first symbol he uses to make a separation between old and new rich. Another symbol are the unread books, which represents Gatsby as a fake; as a person who wants to show something he really isn’t. Daisy’s voice is the third symbol, and it represents the ambitious mind he had towards money. Money takes a fundamental role in the story, because thanks to it the characters change and become someone they really aren’t.

Society has, indeed, a great part to play in shaping the identities of individuals. East vs west Egg made the separation between the social classes. “By comparison, West Egg is the locale of the American dream in miniature and East Egg is the home of those who are longtime captains of industry”. This was one of the reasons that shaped of each of the characters behavior. For example, Jay Gatsby didn’t have lots of money, but suddenly he was the most prestigious when compared to all of the characters. He thought that with all of his money the world could be the way he wanted to be and that he could get anything he wants.

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This reflects the kind of person he was and the carelessness he had. He didn’t care about others feelings nor something else, but money. This negligence was the first step for his hollowness, because later this lack of care will put people against him converting it into an obstacle in his life. In addition, the unread book reveals the real character of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby had an enormous library full of many books. Everyone was impresses and thought he was a very cultured man and intelligent. The real thing was that Gatsby hadn’t read the books and that he only had them as ornaments in his library.

This shows the lack of genuineness of this character; he wants to show society the kind of person he really isn’t. With this example it shows the types of people the wealthy class are; they only care about putting a first class image in the society. This illustrates how they really don’t care about anything else but money. Other’s feelings were put aside and materialism as a priority. On the other hand, Daisy was ambitious, false, and superficial thanks to the money. In the story her voice was a symbol of her personality, when the narrator describes her of having a “voice full of money”.

Unfortunately, her love of money drove her to finally decide in marrying Tom, again focusing on money and building a superficial relationship. On the outside, Daisy is fresh and pure just like the flower she is named after. However, in reality she is just like money in that she promises more than she gives. Thanks to her ambition, carelessness was very present in her person. Money drove her crazy; taking her to live an unhappy life because of it. By returning with Tom, and by not assisting to Gatsby’s funeral it clearly shows the lack of feelings she has and a person that is worthless.

After watching The Crucible, one cannot help but wonder why when given the chance to confess to the accusations and live, did the characters choose to stay firm and die? For people today that question is not easily answered. In the past however, this was not a question at all. The answer is found within the strong religious background that most of the accused were raised on, and the feeling of pride and honor they felt in their hearts. John Proctor is the central character in the play. His tragedy is the most significant, for it emerges from a flaw deep within himself and is resolved by his own actions.

John Proctor exemplifies the importance of a strong name through his actions and choices throughout the play; most significantly the fourth act when he chooses death over disgracing his name. Proctor shows the role of justice in his life, letting God be the judge of his actions in life and not their peers. Sometimes you have to stand for more. Throughout the play one of the central themes continues to be John Proctors, Giles Coreys, and Rebecca Nurses refusal to degrade their souls with lies of confession only to save themselves from the unjust accusations of witchcraft.

In this time and era the people living in and around Salem, Massachusetts are from Puritan faith and live very strict lives. At the time of the witch trials in history there was still no separation between church and state, so the church had a major role in each individuals life. When Reverend Parris came upon the children of Salem dancing and conducting against their religion, they were accused of being in a pact with the devil by many of the towns people in the beginning.

Rumors spread, and innocent people are charged of witchcraft. Some of the accused were, in every aspect, a perfect Puritan. Proctor does not want to confess to the lies he is accused of doing only to save his life. Proctor gets accused of witchcraft while trying to defend his wife, and he is later executed. For what is a name when you have no soul to go with it? That is what Proctor faces. The religious background of Proctor is the cause of his refusal to confess to the accusations toward him.

Both Giles Corey and John Proctor believed in letting God be the judge of their faults. When Giles Corey refuses to answer to his indictment in order to preserve his land’s ownership for his family, he is trusting in a higher power, God, even when death is his punishment. Proctor also feels this way, and when arguing with Danforth about his confession of adultery, he turns to God as his judge when he says, I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name.


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