Homework Help

What are the similarities and differences between "The Great Gatsby" and "The Bluest...

user profile pic

puck18 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 29, 2008 at 1:06 PM via web

dislike 1 like
What are the similarities and differences between "The Great Gatsby" and "The Bluest Eye"?

Could you compare and contrast the ways that the authors handle one issue in both of the novels? How they use certain literary devices to portray these issues?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

podunc | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 30, 2008 at 10:35 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The two novels you mention could not be more different in terms of style, characters, time period, setting, and cultural background. However, there is one "issue" that both novels explore--the unachievable dream. For Gatsby, his dream is to win back Daisy after she broke his heart many years before. For Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eye, her unachievable dream is to have blue eyes and all the social advantages that come with being a white, well-cared-for, blue-eyed girl. Both dreams end in tragedy: Gatsby is murdered as a result of Daisy's carelessness, and Pecola loses her mind after she is sexually abused by her father.

user profile pic

appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 22, 2008 at 4:44 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

The primary similarity between the two stories is that both feature main characters who aspire to live amongst a social class of people that they feel removed from. In The Great Gatsby, the main character is kept from joining in high-class society at first because he is born into a poor family; Gatsby later becomes a self-made millionaire and returns to court Daisy the rich girl who rejected him as a suitor when we was younger. In The Bluest Eye, the main character is kept from the social group she wishes to join primarily because of her race; an African-American girl, she aspires to look like the blond haired, blue-eyed white girls in her community.

user profile pic

cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

The overarching concept of the American Dream might be a tie between the two novels.  In The Great Gatsby, the green light is used as a symbol for Gatsby’s attaining what he has most desired, the hand of Daisy.  He looks longingly across the harbor at the green light as he dreams of ways to win Daisy’s heart and attention.  Similarly, in The Bluest Eye, Pecola imagines what it would be like to have blue eyes and hallucinates them after meeting Soaphead Church.  She, like Gatsby, dreams of the love and attention that she would receive from others if she could only have blue eyes.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes