The Act and the End: The Pursuit of Desire in F. Scott Fiztgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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dc.contributor.advisor Samuels, L en Yates, Cameron en 2015-04-07T21:04:03Z en 2014 en
dc.identifier.citation 2014 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The pursuit of desire central to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby illustrates a normative structure of desire, in that the desiring subject – Jay Gatsby – is male whilst the supposed object of his desire is Daisy Buchanan, the passive female. Gatsby exceeds this normative structure in that whilst Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy is central to the narrative, she is one of many talismans in his ultimate desire to perform a suitable hyper-masculinity as embodied by Tom Buchanan. The pursuit of desire avoids acknowledging death by projecting into the past an imagined gratification that if achieved would bring about the death it fears. It is comprised of productive and excessive aspects that constitute a system. Gatsby displays these systematic parts within an identifiable process that navigates the gendered nature of desire. My thesis looks at the system of desire through the lens of Georges Bataille’s general and productive economy, which acknowledges aspects of Gatsby both productive to the perpetuation of normative structures and those in excess. Gatsby’s narrative structure presents a process of desire as a way of understanding the pursuit and specifically the way in which normative gender performance factors into maintaining this. The process of desire in Dante Alighieri’s the Inferno, lends to Gatsby engrained or productive structures of desire that perpetuate normative gender standards within it. It makes up the journey through or representation of Hell, which is a spectacular image of acquired desire for life after death, that in life acts as a safeguard against the void associated with death. The process of desire is enacted by the divided but simultaneous figures of Nick and Carraway as personifications of narrative levels that reveal both the adhering to and stepping away from hegemonic literary structures. Gatsby exceeds the productivity of the male-driven desire narrative because the object of desire is not a woman but the idealised image of a hyper-masculine man, Gatsby himself. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264796913802091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title The Act and the End: The Pursuit of Desire in F. Scott Fiztgerald’s The Great Gatsby en
dc.type Thesis en English en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 479669 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2015-04-08 en

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