Comparison between Charles Wales from Babylon Revisited and Jay Gatsby from the Great Gatsby
Charles wales are the main character in a novel titled Babylon revisited, while Jay Gatsby is the main character in a novel titled the Great Gatsby. There are a number of similarities and differences between which are quite interesting and needs further scrutiny. This paper analyses these two characters in detail and points out their similarities and differences with regard to the setting of the novels.
Charles Wales in Babylon revisited appears to everyone as a very likeable person even before the rising action of the story. Almost anyone who gets to know Charlie has no choice but to like him despite his flaws. It is ironically astonishing that despite the fact that he abandoned his child after the probable involvement in the death of his own wife, and has had a past full of uncontrollable alcoholism, people still like him. Jay Gatsby on the other hand is a criminal and drug dealer, but from the writer’s perspective, he is preceded by his reputation. He is surrounded by beautiful women, powerful men and has remarkable luxury and appears in every gossip story all through New York. He is a renowned celebrity a long time before the reader gets to meet with him. Both of these characters are famous and likeable despite the fact that they are not good people due to their character traits (Karolides et al, 2011). Charlie is extremely hard to dislike since he appears as a very honest person in his efforts to change his behavior. He has a spectacular charm especially since he is very attractive and if a reader is aware of his behavior as the story begins, he/she trusts him even more when he stipulates that h has decided to take only one drink in a day and rebuff all of his former friends.
At the beginning, the reader has no otherwise, but to like Charlie, but with some suspicions as a result of his character. To begin with, Charlie tries to justify his drinking habit by stating that he does not want to give undue power to alcohol and make it seem powerful so he takes at least a drink a day. This does not make any sense later in the novel. In this light, Charlie does a very good job hiding his true self from the people but they find out anyway towards the climax of the novel. This is a technique referred to as delayed character revelation and is also used in the Great Gatsby when Jay’s character is delayed until after the exposition of the story. However, in Jay’s case, Fitzgerald makes use of the technique to emphasize the dramatic quality of the approach used by Jay in life, which forms the essential part of his personality.
I decided to choose Gatsby and Charles due to the fact that they are the main characters in both readings and several themes in the novel revolve around them and their characters. Additionally, the themes in both the stories are almost the same with very slight differences. They are bad people who are celebrities in the society because they hide their real characters from the rest of the people. Like Charles and Gatsby, many people in the contemporary society tend to hide behind masks but in reality they are not who they say they are. Similarly, just like in the two novels, it takes time before you truly understand a person’s character, especially if that person seems very innocent and good in several ways.
Karolides, N.; Bald, M; Sova, D. (2011). 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World
Literature (Second ed.). Checkmark Books. p. 499. ISBN 978-0-8160-8232-2.
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