Fitzgerald's Use Of Enchantment In The Great Gatsby

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The post war era was characterised by the excess and the pursuit of pleasure, which was a reaction to the shift in thinking about reality. The world became more secularised and deprived of spiritually defined meaning. The hedonism and consumerism was a way to escape the mundane reality and counteract the dullness of life as well as a means to define oneself. However, the enchantment experienced by Fitzgerald’s characters was an antidote which allowed them to see the world as a place full of wonder and not merely an escape. Enchantment is a mood of lively and intense engagement with the world, and I have been thinking about how it plays into an ethical comportment of generosity towards others. Enchantment consists of a mixed bodily state of joy and disturbance, a transitory sensuous…show more content…
It depends on several factors: a powerful figure able to conjure the magic, an audience that is ready to believe it and the setting and props used. The experience of being spellbound by some sensuous image is spontaneous on the side of the perceiver but in Fitzgerald works it is sometimes orchestrated by a ‘magician’ who has the ability to put together a spectacle. Those machinations appear as effortless, natural and conceal the great work and ingenuity involved. One such figure is Jay Gatsby, in The Great Gatsby, who throws enormous, decadent parties. When Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story, attends one of such gatherings he is awed by it and at the same time puzzled by the absence of the host. Gatsby is the only person who does not drink alcohol and is always in control of himself. Although he affects ease and relaxation, he is vigilant and watches over all the minutiae, such as replacing guest’s torn dress with a new one, so as to ensure that the illusion he creates will not be broken. He organises this magical event and it is held together by the force of his Romantic
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