The Great Gatsby

Self-Destruction for Hedonistic Pleasure in The Great Gatsby and Cabaret 12th Grade

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby and Bob Fosse’s musical film Cabaret both explore how a lifelong pursuit of hedonistic pleasure will lead to self-destruction through the use of stylistic conventions of their text type. The term hedonism refers to the pursuit of pleasure, generally in the form of wealth and sensual self-indulgence. Fitzgerald utilizes the literary techniques of characterization, figurative language and symbolism to convey the moral absence within a hedonistic society. Comparatively, Fosse adopts filmic conventions including dialogue, soundtrack and setting to portray the political and moral ignorance that can evolve during the pursuit of pleasure. Through these techniques, both authors convey their opinion on hedonistic individuals and the underlying consequences that accompany this philosophy.

Both Fitzgerald and Fosse examine the dangerous progression of hedonistic desires over time in order to explore the journey to self-destruction in the pursuit of pleasure. Fitzgerald’s characterization of Myrtle Wilson emphasizes this idea of the dangerous aspiration for possessions. Myrtle’s initial materialistic longing is established by Fitzgerald in her encounter with Tom Buchanan, where her preliminary...

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