Live for the day, because tomorrow may never come, an often-heard motto in the 1920 s and the themes of two well-known novels of the 1920 s. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway and The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, are two novels about the lost generation. They are striving to find an order for their world, a world that has been shattered. They attempt to reach their allotment dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its imaginary goals. Not only are the themes of these two novels similar, but the characters within the novels have many similarities. An example of two characters that are similar would be Jay Gatsby, from the novel The Great Gatsby and Robert Cohn, from the novel The Sun Also Rises. These two characters, Jay Gatsby and Robert , are similar because they are both the romantics of the novels, they are also the rich outsiders.
Robert Cohn and Jay Gatsby are both outsiders of the novels and are not wanted by the crowed. The title The Great Gatsby is like a paradox, for Jay Gatsby is neither great no Gatsby. Jay's real name is Gatz and he can not be great, because he is not accepted by the person, he most desires to be with, for he is an outsider. Gatsby being part of the "new rich" makes him an outsider as well as him living in West Egg, for it is the less fashionable, this allows him not to be accepted in the group. Jake says, " Cohn has a wonderful quality of bringing out the worst in anybody. " Robert Cohn is a Jew at Princeton, at a time when Jews didn t attend Ivy League schools, making him an outsider. Both Jay Gatsby and Robert Cohn are discriminated because of who they are, making them outsiders.
Both Robert Cohn and Jay Gatsby are hopeless romantics, and neither of them can understand that the war has destroyed innocence, love, and trust. The readers are asked to love Gatsby, because of his dream; they are asked to cry out with Nick, " They re a rotten crowd You re worth the whole damn bunch put together. " This is what makes Gatsby the romantic; his dream is what separates him from what Nick calls the "foul dust that floated in the wake of his dream." Robert Cohn pursues Brett after she has made it clear she doesn't want him, he believes that sleeping with Lady Brett on their trip to San Sebastian means they will love each other forever. Cohn is a puppy in need of love and attention; he just wants to be loved and cared for, yet he will never be accepted. This kind of romantic idealism what separates Cohn and Gatsby from the rest; they are interested in neither money nor prestige, they both want to fulfill their dream, making them the romantics of the novels.
The characters Jay Gatsby and Robert Cohn are both rich and have privileges in life that others don t. Jay Gatsby has obtained his money through crimes he has committed in order to buy objects he feels he needs to win the woman. With his money Gatsby throws his famous parties in hope that he will find his dream. Robert Cohn has been able to have and to do whatever he wants for the majority of his life, because his family is very rich. He has flirted with the arts, started a small magazine, written a bad novel, and now lives among other American writers in Paris. Both Jay Gatsby and Robert Cohn have had privileges do to their money, even if they acquired it in different ways.
Robert Cohn and Jay Gatsby are similar in many ways, because of their romantics and money. Their hope to make their dream come true has only turned into a ritual, such as Gatsby s parties or the bull fights in order to give their life meaning. At worst, they merely have the courage to see that they are forlorn. They are "hemmed in by a birth they did not choose and a death toward which they must inexorably move." The excessive drinking of the entire group is symptomatic of their dread of cold reality. Gatsby and Cohn have to realize that a belief in fairytales and princesses and happy endings, a faith that life can be special, remarkable, beautiful, isn t reality. That life doesn t end happily ever after, but "isn t it pretty to think so."