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Comparing Points of View in Heart of Darkness and the Great Gatsby Essay

  • Submitted by: dasungeziefer
  • on October 6, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,372 words

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Below is an essay on "Comparing Points of View in Heart of Darkness and the Great Gatsby" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Compare the ways in which the particular point of view of a character or persona is important to the understanding of theme in any 2 modern texts you have studied.

In The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, the narrators filter the story they each tell through their necessarily subjective consciousness. These points of view result in particular effects that could not have been achieved with an omniscient narrator: distorted societies and blurry perception, the difficulties of perceiving anything purely, as well as ironic tension due to ambivalence towards the central character.

The points of view, with their blurry perceptions, contribute to a dream-like atmosphere. Both societies are described impressionistically – the jungle is a “mournful and senseless delusion”, while the East is said to have a certain “quality of distortion”. It is clear in both that the societies are not being described objectively or factually; instead, Nick and Marlow invest their own judgments into the descriptions. In the valley of ashes, for instance, details are figurative and based heavily on Nick’s impressions of the underlying grotesqueness: “ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air”. Nick conveys a similar impression of spiritual emptiness when he describes Myrtle’s apartment as having “a small living-room, a small dining-room, a small bedroom, and a bath. The living-room was crowded to the doors…” – the repetition of the word “small” and the use of “crowded” hints at the feebleness of this setting in holding Myrtle’s dreams of grandeur. In Heart of Darkness, the imagery is even more sinister: Marlow speaks of the jungle as “the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention” and Brussels as a “sepulchral city” of hypocrites. This dream sensation also extends to the characters – Kurtz “looked at least seven feet long […] it...

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"Comparing Points of View in Heart of Darkness and the Great Gatsby". Anti Essays. 9 Dec. 2018


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Comparing Points of View in Heart of Darkness and the Great Gatsby. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Comparing-Points-Of-View-In-Heart-320552.html

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