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Recklessness in "The Great Gastby"

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Alyssa DeBartolo

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Recklessness in "The Great Gastby"

By: Alyssa DeBartolo, Bridget Cascio, Lindsay Zasadinski, & Chloe Delaney Recklessness in "The Great Gatsby" How Recklessness Is Present in "The Great Gatsby" Film Art In the novel, the characters only care about themselves, and don't worry about any of the consequences that follow their actions. Their careless actions lead to other bad events throughout the novel, such as Daisy's reckless driving causing Myrtle to get run over: "First Daisy turned away from the woman toward the other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back" (143). There are also instances throughout the novel of careless drinking and partying. Character/ Celebrity Comparison In "The Great Gatsby" Tom Buchanan portrays the theme of recklessness. He never took responsibility for his actions, and blamed Gatsby for killing Myrtle. Nick Carraway describes Tom and his wife Daisy as, "careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness.." (179).
Celebrity Britney Spears is a recent comparison to Tom because she shaved her head in 2007, in order to cover up her drug use. This was a careless act for her own selfish motive, similar to how Tom acted for himself in the novel. Advertisement Music The film "The Flapper", starring Olive Thomas, was made in 1920, and tells the story of an innocent girl who gets sent to boarding school, where she sneaks out to fit in with the wrong crowd in order to live the lifestyle of a flapper.
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is a 1986 film that tells the story of a high school senior who decides to take the day off to have many adventures before his parents find out he ever left.

Both films show teenagers acting rebellious and reckless, without caring what the consequences may be. In "The Great Gatsby", most of the characters are reckless (similar to Ferris and flappers in the 1920's) out of an effort to impress others and society. Gatsby tries to impress Daisy when she comes to visit: "he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her (Daisy's) well-loved eyes" (91). In the 1920's, the movement of Surrealism was founded by André Breton. Nonconforming artists would paint illogical and crazy scenes. They defied the restrictions of art in that decade in a careless manner in order to express themselves.
Today we see signs of reckless art on the sides of many buildings-through graffiti. Graffiti is illegal and is considered vandalism on public property. Graffiti is a reckless way for artists to express themselves in the modern day.

Both Surrealism and graffiti allow artists to be reckless and expressive in their own way. These themes also compares the two with "The Great Gatsby" in the way that Gatsby expresses himself through his materialistic and reckless lifestyle. Music from the 1920's portrayed the common themes of carelessness and recklessness, as in the song "In the Jailhouse Now" by Jimmie Rogers. This song portrays the theme of recklessness in the forms of gambling, stealing, and going against the natural flow of things. This song was recorded February 15th, 1928.
More recently, a song that connects to the theme of recklessness is "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. Recklessness today is represented by rebellion and disobedience, as the song shows. This song was originally released in 1984.

These songs both connect to the same themes in "The Great Gatsby" because recklessness and carelessness are displayed throughout the book when it comes to the house parties or even with the choices that characters make.
Alcohol in the 1920's was prohibited however many people were able to acquire and use it for social gatherings.The advertisement on the right is for Guinness in the 1920's. Because of alcohol (like Guinness), there were many reckless acts at these parties and gatherings.
An example of recklessness in advertisement today would be the one displayed on the left. This is for Zero Gravity, which is a dance club for teens. This advertisement promotes some of the careless behavior that happens at this club.

Both examples of recklessness compare to the crazy carousals that occur at Gatsby's house in the book. Alcohol was a source of recklessness throughout the novel, as well as during the 1920's. The parties in "The Great Gatsby" are also similar to the dance club Zero Gravity. The End
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