Universal Lessons in the Great Gatsby and the Count of Monte Cristo
The Great Gatsby grand success as one the best American novels of the twentieth century and The Count of Monte Cristo’s success as one of the greatest French novels of nineteenth century. Both novels dominated the literature of their respective centuries. The first suitable explanation for their domination is that the authors of both books are geniuses. They expressed their opinions about social and political issues through literature. The second and the most obvious aspect about these two books is that they contain valuable lessons and orals.
As social creatures, people wish for everlasting relationships with friends and family, but the authors of the two books oppose this idea and demonstrates why relationships cannot last forever. People do not want to take responsibility for their own troubles and yet, the authors display the reasons why one must take full responsibility for a problem that results from one’s action. The authors argue that the gradual change in the personality and the characteristics of a man is an inevitable phenomenon and yet, they also argue that one’s mentality does not change.
The author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the author of The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas, teach universal lessons about these elements through characters and symbolism. The first lesson the authors are trying to teach is that relationships do not last forever, by explaining the symbolic meaning of death, and through the effective usage of the characters in the books. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Mercedes and Dantes love each other but their relationship breaks up as Dantes is sent to Jail.
When Dantes escapes from Jail and arrives home, he realizes that “Mercedes has disappeared” (Dumas, 171) and has married Fernand. In comparison, Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship ends as Daisy realizes that her commitment is to Tom. Daisy commits by marrying Tom during Gatsby serves in the military. When Gatsby comes back to see her, he realizes that she is already married with Tom. The reasons for breaking up in the two books may be different in some way, but the outcome is the same: both of their relationships break up in the end, for romantic relationship has its end Just like all the other values.
Moreover, romance seems to mean nothing more than an affair between two sexes and the authors rove this point. Dantes is a tall, handsome, kind, and intelligent man Just like Gatsby. Both men have almost all the characteristics that any man desires to have, but they do not end up finding true love of their own. However, they, too, end up with an outcome that is undesirable, yet, inevitable. Next, Danglars and his daughter separate because Danglars forces his daughter to get married with a man she does not love.
Danglars’ greed motivates him to force his daughter into a marriage she Dantes helps her to escape from Danglars, Dantes says: “family griefs, or indeed any ther affliction which would crush a man whose child was his only treasure, are endurable to a millionaire” (Dumas, 386). On the other hand, in The Great Gatsby, the lustful relationship between Tom and Myrtle breaks up because of the unbalanced relationship between the two where Tom has superiority over Myrtle’s inferior figure. Tom punches Myrtle as some sort of retribution for Myrtle challenging his authority. When Myrtle yells at Tom: “Daisy! Daisy!
Daisy! ‘ I’ll say whenever I want to! ‘Daisy! Daisy!… ” (Fitzgerald, 41), Tom punches her in the face. Both the relationships etween Danglars and his daughter, and Myrtle and Tom break up as a result of one person’s superiority over another. The evidences suggest that a relationship cannot last when a person of a superior status abuses their power. Next, the death of Dantes’ father is the end of relationship not only between Dantes and his father but also his father’s connection with the world as a whole. Dumas narrates: “Old Dantes, who was sustained by hope, lost all hope at Napoleon’s downfall. Dumas, 82).
In contrast, Gatsbys death signifies the end of his life, including the relationship with all his surroundings. In Gatsbys funeral, Nick states: “Gatsbys house was empty’ (Fitzgerald, 191), which means that no one has visited Gatsbys funeral. Death signifies the end of one’s life and also the end of one’s hope. In The Count of Monte Cristo, what fails to “sustain” Dantes’ father’s life is the downfall of Napoleon, which he has truly believed in, and for Gatsby, this belief has been the remaining affection from Daisy, that completely disappears as she realizes her total commitment is toward Tom.
The deaths, in both books, indicate not only the ending of the characters’ lives but the complete separation of their relationships from their urroundings. In conclusion, there are numerous reasons why relationships are not an everlasting aspect of human nature, but more importantly, the authors prove that the breaking-up in any type of relationships is an inevitable phenomenon. The authors seem to imply that we must all be prepared for what’s about to come as an ending in our relationships as well. The second lesson the authors attempt to teach is that one must take responsibility for the troubles that result from one’s action.
They do this by explaining the positive and negative consequences of taking or not aking responsibility. Mondego, for committing a bad deed in his life by framing Dantes for treason and then marrying Dantes’ wife when Dantes is imprisoned, consequently suicides after becoming the first victim of Dantes’ vengeance. After Dantes escapes from prison and comes back for revenge, Dantes says to himself while he is scheming his revenge: “It is written that the sins of the father shall be visited on the sons, even to the third and fourth generation.
Similarly, in The Great Gatsby, the suicide of Myrtle is caused by her own poor self- anagement, where she betrays her husband and starts an affair with Tom. When Myrtle gets punched by Tom, she tries to talk with Tom and Daisy by stopping the car which Daisy is driving. Daisy fails to see her and accidentally hits her. Both suicides of Mondego and Myrtle are detrimental consequences of their irrational behaviors. Whether the suicides are faith or choice, the obvious factor that leads to their suicides is the lack of responsibility that Mondego and Myrtle take.
As the text suggests, the trouble that results from one’s action lasts “even to the third and fourth f Dantes, Morrel does everything in his power to free Dantes from prison and tries to save Dantes’ father from death. When Dantes gets out of prison with vast amount of fortune, he discovers that Morrel is about to be in financial trouble. Dantes saves Morrel from this financial ruin. Dantes tells him that he “is capable of experiencing the heights of felicity’ (Dumas, 512).