The Great Gatsby Comparative Essay

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When talking about the differences between literary fiction and popular or commercial fiction, one has to make the distinction of purpose. The first one sets a more serious tone and delivers some kind of social commentary, political criticism, or personal analysis as part of the human condition. Its purpose is to make people reflect and hopefully learn through the experiences transmitted by the author. The second one provides us with an escape from reality through the use of simpler language, and a plot that invites the reader to follow the adventures of the protagonist(s); to some extent, it also encourages to stop thinking because the problems will be solved for us at the end of the story. Its main purpose then is to entertain. Scholars have …show more content…

Furthermore, Steinbeck argues the ever-increasing need for Literature as a way to convey knowledge and experiences. About this he said in his 1962 Nobel Banquet speech, “Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it, and it has not changed except to become more needed […] He [the writer] is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.” Books like Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby represent a critic to certain aspects of the human condition. Of Mice and Men makes the reader reflect, among other things, on the predatory nature of humans: George playing mean-spirited jokes on Lennie, an individual with intellectual disability, to the point in which Lennie almost died, ranchers mistreating Crooks because he was black, Crooks criticizing Lennie’s dream of going away with George and buying their own piece of land, etc. This book shines light on social problems such as segregation and racism, sexism, and differences among social classes. On the other hand, The Great Gatsby condemns the consumer society pointing out the ruthless pursuit of money and the lack of empathy that wealthy people display toward others, their carelessness. Most importantly, these two books do more than criticize; they create a debate from which we can learn and become better human beings. And that was one of Steinbeck’s main points; he believed that “…a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in

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