Comparing Gatsby And Mailer's Contribution To American Culture

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Because F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Mailer are authors who contributed to the shape of their national identity and consciousness, their philosophic roots and American literary, as well as the American cultural currents of their times have been comprehensively explored in their literary art. A point of accord among scholars is that Fitzgerald and Mailer’s contributions to American culture reach far beyond their roles as American literary artists—they are not only considered voluble social critics of twentieth-century America, but eloquent interpreters of their American cultural milieu. Literary works such as The Great Gatsby and An American Dream stand as evidences to these authors’ commitment with and apt understanding of their cultural…show more content…
What is noteworthy about these two authors taken together is not only just the influence of European existentialism on their canon of works, but also the depth of the cultural moments they capture in their art in novels such as The Great Gatsby and An American Dream, moments that reflect the growing influence of European existentialisms in American culture. For Fitzgerald, the historic moment of Gatsby—the postwar Jazz Age—reflects the foremost strain of cultural discourse, which focused on the applicability of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophies of modern civilization and the modern individual to American concerns and…show more content…
In Fitzgerald’s postwar 1920s, American cultural critics and intellectuals focused in on Nietzsche’s philosophies of morality and tried to apply Nietzsche’s philosophies on modern subjectivity to modern American culture, something Fitzgerald himself addresses in The Great Gatsby. In Mailer’s postwar period, Nietzschean and Kierkegardian existentialisms remained a part of America’s mounting discourse on the applicability of existentialism to American culture, yet Mailer writes An American Dream at the moment existential psychology is substituted the traditional Freudian and Jungian approaches to psychoanalysis in America, a moment when Heideggerian philosophy and psychology flooded American discourse, a moment Mailer capture in An American Dream. Yet even though the explicit cultural moments and the precise philosophies each of these writers engage with diverge, they find frequent ground in their shared existential vision of the dilemmas of and remedies for the modern individual and the modern, “civilized”
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