The Great Gatsby 'By Klages' Interlude: Self To Subject

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If we were Romantic selves in the previous era, how are modern individuals like subjects caught in the spider web of modern structures? These structures allow some individuals to be a self while others are cast as subjects. In Klages ‘Interlude: Self to Subject’, self is defined as “a conscious being who had the power of logic and rationality to discover the truth about workings of the world, and who was able to act and think for himself or herself, independently of external influences, and also able to think reflectively about the status of his or her own being.” On the other hand, subject is defined as “radically decenters the idea of self, stripping it of its autonomy and its ability to deduce ‘truth’ ” Both of these definitions can be used for defining the motives of the characters in the Great Gatsby. A character that best represents self is Myrtle Wilson. As previously mentioned, self was defined as a person that had the power to think for themselves, despite what other people say. Myrtle is a 30 year old woman married to George Wilson, a poor mechanic who reside in the Valley of Ashes. She is not proud of this and so, plans to seduce old money Tom Buchanan through her appearance, personality, and behavior. Because of this, Myrtle proves to fit the definition of self. To begin with, Myrtle is ashamed of her class and pretends to be rich and high class in order to impress Tom. In Tom’s apartment in New York, she bought an expensive dress that people from her class typically cannot afford, and talked rudely to the servants that are also of the same class as her: “I told that boy about…show more content…
It is a tragic modernist piece of literature that makes it hard for a self like Myrtle to take a subject’s seating position. Characters such as Daisy will always prove in the end that the seat belongs to
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