“Ozymandias”, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is a poem concerning the “colossal wreck” left by what was as soon as a implausible empire. In the course of a desert – we’re speaking sand, solar, after which extra sand – are the legs and shattered stone head of what was in all probability as soon as a reasonably spectacular statue of Ramses II (or “Ozymandias” in Greek, which comes from that sounds a lot cooler). The inscription on the base reads: “My title is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Take a look at my works, mighty ones, and despair! Which makes us snicker, since all the things across the statue is completely empty for what appears like a 50 mile radius. (SOME – one – LOST – his – EMMMM – WORSE !!!)
The truth that the poem is instructed prior to now tense (which provides chronological distance) by an unnamed stranger (which provides narrative distance) a couple of faraway place (which provides common distance to the outdated one) provides to the overall feeling of loneliness. Are you able to hear the echo? Though we’re tempted to snicker at Ozy and his delusions of grandeur, what we humbly understand as we sit in our pajamas consuming generic model cereal is that hey, this man had a nation. ! Other than the carbon footprint, how am I supposed to depart my mark on the world? (A plot to alter the lettering on the Trump Tower is rising quickly …)
Now that you’ve got been immersed in some crippling existential funk (which might make a fantastic band title by the way in which), let’s take into consideration the tip of a newer period, just like the Roaring Twenties in an economically booming America. Do you consider literary works? Most likely The Nice Gatsby, which, as you will discover, can be narrated in third particular person retrospectively about a spot distant – socio-economically talking. There may be nonetheless this echo. Like Ozymandias, Gatsby is set to attain greatness – though in his case, that is as a result of he is magnetically drawn to a mysterious “single, tiny and distant inexperienced gentle.” Extraterrestrials? The 7-11 ?? Industrial grade insect zapper?!? Most likely simply the sunshine of East Egg, the really posh a part of Lengthy Island the place her extremely wealthy and completely unattainable highschool sweetheart lives.
Whereas Gatsby’s objective is not to construct an actual empire, he may as nicely, given how a lot hassle he finally ends up going by way of: he denies his household, adjustments his title, spends years in working underground as a bootlegger, amassing a fortune, assuming a brand new identification, shopping for an enormous mansion in an costly neighborhood, then losing all his financial savings on lavish events for rights holders – how do you say? – morons, ALL to impress an outdated highschool journey that is not notably variety to start with. (And also you thought discovering your image in another person’s locker was over a line.) Sadly for Gatsby, the cash runs out, the girlfriend runs away, the husband finds out, and Gatsby, nicely , Gatsby will get shot. The tip! Form of.
Very similar to the shattered Ozymandias monument, Gatsby symbolically leaves part of himself behind in that eerie inexperienced gentle that spills over the bay, and whereas this remnant would not do justice to what he as soon as was, he factors out nonetheless the void of the encompassing ethical wasteland. Go suck an egg, East Egg!