Gatsby vs. Nora Sympathy Essay Example
Gatsby vs. Nora Sympathy Essay Example

Gatsby vs. Nora Sympathy Essay Example

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Love is considered significant by some but not the most important thing in life. However, two characters, Nora Helmer from "A Doll House" and Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby," prioritize love. Despite their similar experiences with love, Nora is seen as more empathetic because of her bravery, kindness, and innocence. In contrast, Gatsby is viewed as less sympathetic than Nora. In "The Great Gatsby," he lives in a grand mansion in West Egg and possesses wealth, strength, and attractiveness.

He has a dream - to regain Daisy's love. Returning from World War I, he plans to leave behind his impoverished past by changing his name and amassing wealth through illegal means. Gatsby engages in bootlegging and hosts lavish parties every weekend, all in an attempt to catch Daisy's eye and recreate the


past. However, he is aware that this is an unrealistic notion. Furthermore, he pretends to be part of the Old Money elite as he believes it holds more social value than New Money.

Gatsby reveals his wealth and education to Nick, but he consistently deceives others due to a lack of confidence. He buys an extravagant mansion and expensive cars in the hopes of proving to Daisy that he is rich and capable of bringing happiness into her life. Along with his lack of self-assurance, Gatsby also possesses stubbornness. Despite Nick's advice for him to leave town after the car accident involving Gatsby, Daisy, and Myrtle, Gatsby believes he must stay with Daisy to protect her. He is willing to take on all responsibilities on her behalf.

If Gatsby had followed Nick's request and left, he could

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have avoided being killed by Mr. Wilson and his life might have turned out very differently. What is particularly intriguing is that Gatsby doesn't genuinely appear to love Daisy. Despite sacrificing his life for her, he never truly loved her. His desire is to possess the idealized version of Daisy, the Daisy he envisions in his dreams. All individuals at some point have an American dream, believing that anything is achievable. In the novel, the green light serves as a symbol of Gatsby's hope for the American dream. He treasures his dreams dearly. Gatsby is unrealistic, lacking in confidence, and stubborn; consequently, he is less sympathetic compared to Nora.

Nora is more sympathetic than Gatsby because of her bravery, especially given the unequal treatment of women at that time. Women had limited power and were obligated to obtain permission from male figures like their fathers or husbands for important decisions, with failure to do so being illegal. However, in the play "A Doll House," Nora challenges societal norms by forging her father's signature and borrowing money to save her husband, all while keeping this secret from him for eight years.

In order to spare his feelings, she refrains from telling the truth. Being a mother and housewife, she relies on the money given by Torvald as she doesn't have a job. She diligently saves most of the money to pay bills and chooses not to spend it on expensive clothing. Similar to Gatsby, she clings onto a dream - hoping for an event where Torvald's death would lead him to take full responsibility for her. However, she is mistaken in thinking that her

husband actually cares about her; he treats her as nothing more than a plaything.

After reading Krogstad's letter, Torvald's demeanor completely changes. He disregards Nora's explanation and confronts her, exclaiming, "Miserable creature--what have you done?" (175). His main worry is his reputation as he mourns, "Now you have destroyed all my happiness" (175), showing how concerned he is about his honor and future. In contrast, Nora responds with great courage. Despite the difficulties of living independently, especially for a woman, she ultimately decides to separate from Torvald.

Nora selflessly assists Mrs. Linde after a long time apart by convincing her husband to offer her a job at the bank. However, this act of kindness ultimately backfires when Krogstad uses it as leverage to blackmail Nora. If she hadn't helped Mrs. Linde, Krogstad wouldn't have been replaced and thus wouldn't have had the opportunity to blackmail Nora. Despite being initially tempted to seek help from Dr. Rank in response to Krogstad's blackmail, Nora chooses not to upon realizing his affection for her, highlighting her innocence and loyalty towards her husband.

Despite their similar experiences with love, Nora and Gatsby have distinct characteristics. Nora is a good wife and mother, making her a more sympathetic character because of her bravery, kindness, and innocence. Sacrificing oneself for love is seen as highly romantic in showcasing Nora's admirable qualities. These characters offer conflicting perspectives on the importance of love, encouraging readers to reflect on what holds the greatest significance in their own lives. Therefore, what do you consider to be the most important thing in your life?

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