Author Topic: Jack Twist and his similarities with Gatsby  (Read 3108 times)

Offline bluemountainsky

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Jack Twist and his similarities with Gatsby
« on: Aug 20, 2014, 10:13 PM »
I recently watched the new Gatsby film starring Leo DiCaprio, and found myself reading the novel again for the tenth time. I couldn't help but notice similarities between the character of Jack and that of Gatsby. There was one obvious difference between the two characters and their respective love and devotion to their particular love interest. It's clear that Gatsby's love was never truly reciprocated, and that the subject of Gatsby's love, the real person was nothing like the image he'd created in his mind. Daisy was unworthy of his love, and a far cry from the woman of his dreams that he loved so passionately.

The tragedy is that the person he loved did not really exist in Daisy...only in his idea of her, how his own idealistic mind had painted her. On the other hand, we have Jack. He loved a person who was worthy of his love, and whom I have no doubt loved him back just as powerfully, though sometimes had trouble expressing it. Ennis loved Jack deeply but was too afraid to make his dreams come true. He knew how he felt about Jack, but was afraid to understand it. Ennis was not an ideal that Jack created in his mind, the real Ennis was indeed the Ennis Jack was in love with and Jack continued to love him despite the frustration and heartache it caused over the years. Unlike poor Gatsby, Jack wasn't in a one-sided ordeal, holding up someone on a pedastal, pretending or being oblivious to the fact that this person's feelings about you don't come anywhere close to your feelings about them.

Despite these differences however, Gatsby and Jack still have something in common. They are both tragic characters and they are both idealists and dreamers who see the world the way they want it to be, the way it should be, not the way it actually is. They both strive for an ideal, and think if they obtain that ideal, they will be fulfilled in this life, though studying both characters, I can't help but think that after one ideal is achieved, they will find a new ideal to strive for. The tragedy of both characters is born out of their naivete and their idealistic dreams which cannot be fulfilled in their lives. I think it's an interesting topic of discussion and would like to know others' opinions, thoughts, views on this topic of these two literary characters. I like the way both films were done, because they focus so much on the scenery and surroundings that symbolize the characters' feelings and the main gist of the story.
"I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime;
In a big country, dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside."

Offline jackster

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Re: Jack Twist and his similarities with Gatsby
« Reply #1 on: Aug 20, 2014, 11:33 PM »
Very interesting observations BMS. I have not seen Gatsby or even (OMG!) read the book, but of course have heard it talked about for years by folks much smarter than me. Your analysis seems spot on especially in the tragedy of both characters. I'll need to at least see the flick before saying much more and making a real fool of myself. I'm not English Lit major, but I'd bet that this general type of idealistic / tragic figure is probably pretty common in one way or another in much of literature. I think this is why we are so drawn to Jack, and to Ennis as well, as he is his own type of tragic figure with his own flaws. One see a glass half full (Jack) the other sees it half empty (Ennis) but together they make a completely full glass.
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Offline bluemountainsky

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Re: Jack Twist and his similarities with Gatsby
« Reply #2 on: Aug 29, 2014, 12:30 PM »
Very interesting observations BMS. I have not seen Gatsby or even (OMG!) read the book, but of course have heard it talked about for years by folks much smarter than me. Your analysis seems spot on especially in the tragedy of both characters. I'll need to at least see the flick before saying much more and making a real fool of myself. I'm not English Lit major, but I'd bet that this general type of idealistic / tragic figure is probably pretty common in one way or another in much of literature. I think this is why we are so drawn to Jack, and to Ennis as well, as he is his own type of tragic figure with his own flaws. One see a glass half full (Jack) the other sees it half empty (Ennis) but together they make a completely full glass.

Just the thought of the dream slipping away with the years...they hold onto that dream for so long. There was a line from the movie that they added in..I don't think it was in the book, but I think it was genius. "All the bright precious things fade so fast...and they don't come back"...ironic that Daisy says this to Nick, and then a haunting music plays and the camera zooms out that green light that was in the harbor where Gatsby was living across the bay...the bright precious things that Jack had in his heart, believing that it could be like that forever...and the saddest part of all is that it would have been for him, unlike Gatsby the other person actually loved him, but in their case fear and society were too much to overcome. Another thing that reminds me of Jack is when Gatsby and Nick see each other for the last time, it's early September and Gatsby is saddened by how the weather is turning cool and the summer is ending, and remarks that he wishes he could just reach out, grab it, and hold it forever. Nick replies "there will be other summers"...words of wisdom that are lost on Gatsby.

Summer is a theme to the idealistic character. Jack meets Ennis and falls in love with him in the summer...trying to re-create that summer when they had no fears, no worries, and it was just the two of them alone in the world, with no one else to intrude upon their love. Jack also tries to keep going back, but it's hard to do so when both he and Ennis have already entrenched themselves in living the lie. "But there will be other summers"...that brings me back to Ennis at the end with the shirts, the only thing that keeps him going is probably his belief that he will see Jack again in the great beyond and this time he will make things right.
"I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime;
In a big country, dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside."

Offline Ruthless

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Re: Jack Twist and his similarities with Gatsby
« Reply #3 on: Feb 22, 2018, 05:38 AM »
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