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Thread: Themes of contradiction in Great Gatsby (anyone else see them?)

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    Themes of contradiction in Great Gatsby (anyone else see them?)

    I'm reading through Gatsby for the second time. I might be reading into this too deep but it seems to me there is a theme of contradiction, perhaps relating to racism and how America was founded on immigration.

    Anyways I haven't finished re-reading it but I found two big examples.
    The first is Daisy's statement about never leaving New York then upon hearing Nick's joke seems to take it seriously and then yearns to go back.

    The second is Tom telling Not to believe everything he hears then Daisy telling Nick she believes he was engaged because she "heard it from three people". I think there are a few little examples scattered about as well but I can't be sure if I'm crazy and just over thinking it or if it makes sense. Some these are Daisy's comical little comments such as "Tom's getting very profound" unless its just the mention of her ignorance.

    Can anyone give me their thoughts or opinions on this idea?

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    Registered User collegestudent's Avatar
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    Well I must admit that The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books since I read it in high school and have read it several times since then.
    I can see where you are coming from though and it is an interesting idea. I may need to read it yet again (not complaining though) just to look for these contradictions that you write about. With your two examples I can see the contradiction...so nice find I must say when I read through again I will let you know in a more detailed description of other contradictions I may find

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    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    I don't think contradiction is a theme. I think it shows that none of the characters apart from Gatsby and maybe the Wilsons truly believe in anything.

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    ancient atoms hypatia_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    I don't think contradiction is a theme. I think it shows that none of the characters apart from Gatsby and maybe the Wilsons truly believe in anything.
    Agreed. Daisy is contradicting herself, but the essence lies in her not believing in anything, particularly what she desires.

    I think he uses these contradictions in many of the character's dialogue to show that they are flawed in a particular way, perhaps something to do with the bourgeoisie fashion in which the behave.
    “the sense of being which in calm hours arises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them and proceeds obviously from the same source.... Here is the fountain of action and of thought....

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