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Materialism in Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho and F Scott Fitzgeralds The great Gatsby
2004 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to investigate how materialism has affected the main characters and their societies, in Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. By close reading and analyzing a number of scenes, it clearly shows that Jay Gatsby and Patrick Bateman both use their wealth, materialistic possessions and appearance to impress people. The aim in life for the characters is to gain material prosperity and status in society. What Bateman and Gatsby have in common is that their money cannot buy them happiness or real love. Jay Gatsby is driven by his love for Daisy Buchanan or rather his image of her that does not exist in reality. Patrick Bateman, on the other hand, turns to violence in order to fill the void inside of him. They simply want to fit in, in the society that created them. The materialistic society that creates Bateman and Gatsby, affecting everything they do, in the end corrupts and destroys them. In the novels, relationships are superficial; based on money, status and glamour. Even though the novels describe different societies about sixty years apart in time, they both display a society in decay, a society where the surface is what matters and what defines people. Appearance is more important than how a person feels. Humans are valued by their material possessions and their appearance. Spiritual and human values are replaced by materialistic values. The two novels can be read as a warning to people that we need to stop or slow down and pay attention to what is going on in society. Otherwise history will repeat itself. There is no hope for those who enter this way of life because it corrupts their souls and ultimately leads to the death of the society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 18 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53746Local ID: ENG C-16OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53746DiVA: diva2:1102306
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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