Munmun Masud

November 14th, 2010

Technology Obliterates Man

Posted by munmunmasud in Uncategorized

A technocritic can focus on many elements that involve technology in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby. However, to speak of technology as a whole, one specific element surpasses all else; technology obliterates man and his nature in The Great Gatsby.

First of all, we can view Jay Gatsby, George and Myrtle Wilson as victims of technology. Here, technology ultimately becomes the cause of their deaths as Myrtle is struck by an automobile, and both Gatsby and George are killed by the bullet of a gun. Both machines are perceived to be dangerous forms of technologies. From what I conclude, guns were invented to wound, or kill and cars are just as dangerous when driven recklessly.

Before leaving for the war, Gatsby lies to Daisy about his financial status—he is dishonest because he understands that wealth is a major factor for Daisy and feels pressure to lie during the process of courtship. Here, wealth suggests the ownership of technology. When one is wealthy, he possesses many forms of modern technology only the elite are privileged to have. Gatsby’s act of lying for Daisy to reciprocate his affection sheds light on the destruction of both his and Daisy’s nature. This reveals quite an important aspect; the fact that Gatsby needs to lie about his wealth reveals Daisy’s materialistic and money-oriented nature as well as Gatsby’s weakness. Gatsby is a weak character because he was unable to court Daisy on the basis of truth.

Gatsby reinvents himself. He changes his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby because he was disgusted by his background and poor lifestyle before his journey to become rich—filthy rich. This reinventing of the self displays yet another form of technology that did not improve, but further flawed Gatsby’s nature. He changed his name to appeal to his later status; however it did not fulfill the void. Therefore, Gatsby’s action of self reinvention was a complete failure because he did not achieve his goal, Daisy.

Tom Buchanan states that one of the modes behind Gatsby’s wealth is bootlegging. This “skill” requires technology such as transportation: trains, cars and even ships. This crime that Gatsby gained his abundant wealth from presents another demeaning characteristic in Gatsby’s nature. Perhaps Gatsby selected the easiest and fastest way possible to become rich for Daisy. After all, she was the focal point for his desire to achieve prosperity. In this novel, wealth is the definitive source that is crucially needed, as without this facet, one cannot advance in the technological field, which at the end, ultimately fails. Such technological fields include Gatsby’s mansion, his parties, and his newly reinvented self—all of which have failed to bring him the person he truly longed for, Daisy.

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3 Responses to ' Technology Obliterates Man '

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  3.    Faith said,

    on March 23rd, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Faith

    Munmun Masud » Technology Obliterates Man

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