How Old Are The Gossip Girl Characters Supposed To Be The Great Gatsby, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, and the Trouble With Modern Men

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The Great Gatsby, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, and the Trouble With Modern Men

Jay Gatsby and J. Alfred Prufrock are two modern literary protagonists who would probably never be caught dead in the same room together. Although both turn-of-the-century men are in love with utterly unattainable women, their attitudes toward life, the universe, and everything couldn’t be more opposite. Gatsby amasses a fortune, buys a mansion, throws lavish parties and completely reinvents himself, using a flamboyant peacock approach to woo his mistress. Prufrock, on the other hand, reluctantly initiates the meeting, hesitates, broods, retreats, and finally resigns himself to a life of isolation, taking a rather blunt approach to courtship. Yes, ladies – sometimes it’s your choice.

Although Jay and J. Alfred seem to live worlds apart, chronologically they are only separated by about ten years. In fact, both figures are pioneers of a cultural period that has been shortsightedly called “modernism” on the occasion that nothing will ever change. Growing cities, huge crowds, division of labor and division of wealth suddenly became commonplace, and people experienced an unprecedented sense of isolation, disparity and anonymity in the new cultural landscape. On some level, the troubled romances of Gatsby and Prufrock represent a larger struggle to find their place in early twentieth-century urban life, which is strongly reflected in the way they are told.

Jimmy Gatz’s modest upbringing in North Dakota does nothing to prepare him for the extravagant 1920s city life that his childhood sweetheart Daisy loves so much. His “Gatsby” persona is essentially an elaborate, extended performance for her and society’s benefit, so it’s only fitting that we’re forced into the audience’s position by The Great Gatsby being told in the third person. In the style of a game of “telephone” (telegram?), we are first introduced to Gatsby by an outsider who originally heard about Gatsby through gossip people picked up from friends of friends who might have overheard it. passing cart.

Although the eavesdropping works in Gatsby’s favor for a while, it’s not long before the posh New Yorkers who crash his parties feel that he’s not one of their own. The narrator gradually uncovers the truth about Gatsby’s history: Jay is a small-town, uneducated bootlegger determined to win back the (now married) girl of his dreams. Highly damaging personal secrets aside, we still end up with very little idea of ​​what’s going on in Jay’s head, it’s just that most of the goers at Gatsby’s parties have no sense/appreciation for the good guy he really is. By playing the role of a wealthy social elite, the real Gatsby becomes as inaccessible to metropolitan society as it is to him. Looks like not much has changed since your brother’s clubhouse in the tree.

In a huge departure from Gatsby, we get the sense that Prufrock was born and bred into its rigid bourgeois society – and that nothing could be more stifling. Although he longs most of all to share his feelings with the mysterious unnamed woman, he feels stifled by social convention and ultimately decides not to tell her at all. The first-person narrative of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is completely inseparable from Prufrock’s innermost thoughts and feelings, leaving us with almost no objective sense of the things around him. In fact, scholars still disagree as to whether the poem is about a romantic interlude gone wrong or a contrived scenario whose supposed failure causes Prufrock to hold his tongue.

By placing an impenetrable barrier between the reader and the outside reality of the poem, Prufrock forces us to share his sense of separation from the outside world, which consists of formality, routine, triviality, and lots and lots of tea. Looking through Prufrock’s eyes is like looking through prison bars: virtually everything he describes is compartmentalized, whether it’s “faces you meet,” “hands of days,” “eyes that fix you,” “[a]rms that are braceleted, “long fingers,” “nerves in patterns,” or even a punctuated back-and-forth narrative structure. heartless culture, and it definitely shows in the dismembered bodies that surround him Prufrock is depressing to Gatsby’s maniac – although the two might be able to bond over a pint, a good cry and the fact that neither of them will ever get the girl.

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