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Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail Nicholas S. Portugal West Career & Technical Academy AP English Literature & Composition Period B8 November 23, 2013

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail

He had intended, probably, to take what he could and gobut now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail. He knew that Daisy was extraordinary, but he didnt realize just how extraordinary a nice girl could be. She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsbynothing. He felt married to her, that was all. (Fitzgerald, pg. 159, 1925)

To start, in F. Scott Fitzgeralds internationally acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, the protagonist Jay Gatsby was intrinsically motivated to acquire Daisy Buchanan as his wife, much how during the Middle Ages, the knights of King Arthur of England desired to obtain the Holy Grail, which was said to have been the chalice of the Last Supper and at Christs Crucifixion to receive the gushing blood from his side. While Gatsby wished to relive the romantic relationship he had with Daisy, expressed by his arm stretched out towards the green light at the end of her dock on the Long Island Sound, the quest of the Holy Grail was sought after for centuries as to attain the holiest union with God, regardless of the journeys many fruitless results. In essence, the concept of the quest, according to Thomas Foster, must include, (a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there (Foster, pg. 3, 2003). Even at Gatsbys death, Daisy hadnt sent a message or a flower (Fitzgerald, pg. 186, 1925). Most importantly, as Gatsby never strayed from his quest for the ideal, even in death, the Arthurian knights spent their entire lives searching for the Holy Grail. Thematically, Gatsbys quest was to acquire Daisy as his wife. In accordance with the elements of what comprises a quest, the quester would be Gatsby; the place to go would be the green light, or Daisys heart, symbolically representing his ideal; the stated reason to go there would be Gatsby merely wanted to look to Daisys dock and observe her shining green light;

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail

various challenges and trials en route include Tom and Pammy (Daisys daughter), interrogation concerning Gatsbys path to fortune, and travelling back to the past; last, the real reason to go there would be for Gatsby to have a romantic affair with Daisy as they once had before Gatsby left for war, prove to her that he can support her with his newfound wealth, and convince her to admit to Tom that she never loved him. Altogether, this journey can be compared to seeking the Holy Grail, because Gatsbys observance of the green light represented how Gatsby saw his dream ahead of him, but to attain it would be almost impossible or mythical. Additionally, this compares to the futile journeys made to order to obtain the Holy Grail said to be brought by Joseph of Arimathea to England, but never actually found within the countrys confines. Subsequently, in countries across the European mainland, romances have been published regarding the quest for the Holy Grail, such as in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and even Norway, its first reference made in Conte de Graal, by Chrtien de Troyes. In Arthurian legend, three characters, Perceval, Galahad, and Lancelot, the knights of King Arthur, all make the journey to attain the Holy Grail. Perceval saw the grail as well as his companion Galahad, but was unable to attain because he was only human, and Lancelot failed to acquire the grail because he wasnt pure enough (Fatima, 2013). The Holy Grail was known to be only attainable for the most pure of individuals, and in terms of the knights, it was essential to practice chivalry, as all three of them sought the same object of desire. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby symbolizes a knight fighting to obtain Daisy, who in many ways is a damsel in distress with Tom. Following this, his journey is considerably ironic in the sense how chivalric orders of the Medieval Era told knights were to always act with moral intention, and manifest qualities of honesty and integrity, which made them a very respected social class in their time. Conversely, Gatsby amassed his wealth

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail illegally by bootlegging alcohol with the help of Meyer Wolfsheim, and at the same time, disregarded morality and reality, if it meant he could have Daisy as his own.

To conclude, Gatsbys dream was unrealistic because Daisy could not meet up to his high expectations. Near the end of the story, Nick states, If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream (Fitzgerald, pg. 172, 1925). In essence, Gatsby lived in the past, because he wanted to relive the relationship he had with Daisy as he did prior to the Great War. In turn, even though Daisys love for Gatsby had intensified since their reunion, because she was legally married to Tom and bore her daughter Pammy; therefore, it would be immoral for Daisy to run away to Gatsby, as it would defy her vows of marriage and outwardly reveal how she doesnt truly care for her daughter. Correspondingly, the Arthurian knights searched wide and far for the Holy Grail, but due to their continuous failures to uncover it, people eventually stopped looked for it, and rendered its significance obsolete. At the end of the story, Nick mentioned how Gatsby believed in the green light (Fitzgerald, pg. 193, 1925), which might denote Gatsbys green light began to recede, and that hope in its possibilities was lost. Also, when Daisy finally chose Tom over Gatsby, evidenced by, There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together (Fitzgerald, pg. 155, 1925), she shatters his dream and Gatsbys possessions became absolutely meaningless, since his car, house, and servants were all to please Daisy. Finally, Gatsbys delusional obsession for Daisy is embodied in this final quote, Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgasmic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but thats no mattertomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And then one fine morning So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. (Fitzgerald, pg. 193, 1925)

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail Visual Representation (Diagram)

Jay Gatsby

Daisy Buchanan

Dreams to relive their relationship.

Ironic when directly compared.

1) Quester: Gatsby 2) Place: Daisys Heart/Home 3) Stated Reason: To observe the light. 4) Challenges: Tom, Pammy, truth of past. 5) Real Reason: To relive relationship as before the war.

Both are valuable objects of desire in quest.

Desire the holiest union with God.

Arthurian Knights

The Holy Grail

Gatsbys Quest for Daisy Buchanan VS The Arthurian Quest for the Holy Grail APA References British Library. (n.d.). The quest for the holy grail. Retrieved from http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/mythical/grail.html Fatima, M. (2013, May 30). The great gatsby: Seeking the holy grail. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/hizd-es6dc0b/the-great-gatsby-seeking-the-holy-grail/ Fitzgerald, F. S. (1925). The great gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner. Retrieved from https://itun.es/us/IJkWw.l Foster, T. (2003). How to read literature like a professor. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Mitchell, G. (1991). The great narcissist: A study of fitzgeralds gatsby by giles mitchell. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 51(4), 387-396. Retrieved from http://fitzgerald.narod.ru/critics-eng/mitchell-narcissist.html