Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Only Way is East Egg

Drawing comparisons from The hit ITV series 'The Only Way Is Essex', in which we see a direct comparison to The Great Gatsby and how the theme of high-society exists today. Like Gatsby, The characters from TOWIE are self-made. They are not born into upper class, however they live an upper class lifestyle. The characters from the series are self involved, notoriously extravagant and party driven. This ties in precisely with the kind of characters from the novel.

The above link explains the kind of lifestyle the characters in the show have. They are superficial and pretentious. This can be compared to the character of Nick, whereby on page 5 he mentions 'I lived at West Egg, the - well, the less fashionable of the two' we are immediately introduced to a distinctive difference of districts and how one is preferred over the other. An exact parallel to Essex and the attitude which surrounds the residents. The friendships in the show are known for breaking down regularly due to rumours and cheating. This can be seen to exist in the Jazz Age when the book was set, in The Great Gatsby, Tom cheats on Daisy with Myrtle, who by the affair is cheating on her husband and similarly, Daisy cheats on Tom with Gatsby. We can see an intertwined relationship disaster, just as in the show.

Other than cheating, there are shallow attitudes within the plot of the novel, which ring true to the show. The characters in the show are known for talking about each other behind their backs and do not hold much respect for one another. Just as when Gatsby dies, no-one other than Nick and Gatsby's father show up for the funeral, none of Gatsby's 'so called' friends attend. It provides a chilling response to the attitude high society have towards relationships.

In fact, the part in the novel whereby Nick goes to meet Daisy for the first time in years, Tom is described as having 'arrogant eyes' and when Nick makes his way to the garden, after being shown around the house, Jordan and Daisy are both said to be 'wearing white'. Jordan seems very condescending, as if she is looking down on everyone by 'balancing something on her chin'. The scene set by Fitzgerald mimics the type of scene you are likely to see on the ITV series. And so we see a relation of The Great Gatsby existing today.