Fleeting Nature of Time Research Paper

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Fleeting Nature of Time

From the point-of-view of humanity, time is unforgiving and everything in the surrounding environment is subjected to time. Aging and death are just two of the concepts frequently associated with time. The modern ages have brought along a series of factors influencing the passing of time, making people obsessed with spending their time in the best possible ways. The expression "I've got all the time in the world" is certainly not appropriate for the present, as decades fly as if they were seconds. In the era of speed, when the sound speed barrier is already a thing of the past, time should be the one dimension that humanity has managed to change in its favor. Yet, things are looking quite in the opposite direction. The characters of Jay Gatsby and J. Alfred Prufrock are examples of individuals that attempt to make the most out of their lives, but end up with little to no time to live and fail from achieving their principal goals.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" and T.S. Elliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" are both abounding with the word "time," creating a belief that the two authors had intended time to be a central theme in both texts.

It is obvious that mankind is especially preoccupied with time, taking into consideration the large number of devices that it has created in order to measure it. Each individual is determined to count time in a manner which allows one to take advantage of its full potential. Time is omnipresent, regardless of the circumstances. The inevitable process of bodily aging is one of the main models to demonstrate the fleeting nature of time. The concept of time is abstract, but by regarding it as fleeting one would immediately understand that it goes by with great rapidity. Everything is ephemeral, even though certain matters have a longer life span in comparison to others. Time has definitely had a severe impact on humanity ever since the early ages. People come and go, stars are born, burn and eventually fade away, making everything transient and thus time priceless.

Even so, it is possible that people could actually learn how to enjoy their time without experiencing the feeling of remorse for doing so, if they would not be so desperate in trying to seize it. Maybe it would then become unimportant.

Time is priceless and while some are aware of this, others believe that it actually has a price (even though they, too agree that it is extremely valuable). Those that believe that time has a price are usually the people that have the most regrets, letting their lives passing by without giving them the chance to accomplish their ideals. Gatsby and Prufrock are both greatly affected by the fact that time can no longer assist them in their campaigns.

Prufrock is tormented by his weakness and he feels as if the world had denied him the right to a decent living. He is completely conscious that life cannot provide him with the same benefits in his present condition as a middle aged man. However, as the story progresses, it appears that his concerns fade away and transform into hope. This hope is taken to the extreme, as he accepts the fact that he suffered for a great number of years only to be later rewarded with the pleasures of life. He does not attempt to fool himself into thinking that the best years of his life are lost, but he regains his strength knowing that he still has time to enjoy life. He constantly repeats the word "time," contributing to the reader's belief that he had become hysterical.

Elliot clearly wants to emphasize that time is a central topic all across the poem, and it is extremely fragile, especially when in comparison to timelessness. Prufrock is in great pain, there is no question about it. His awareness is disturbing as he proves that he is very pessimistic concerning his chance to experience happiness.

Prufrock can be considered to be a perfect observer for time and its fleeting nature. He is in a conscious state of mnd and capable of performing a series of tasks, yet he sits motionless and prefers to think about how time had betrayed him. He chooses to perform actions in his mind instead of performing them in the real world, which might be related to a certain hidden need for spirituality.

The fact that Elliot's creation has difficulties combining space and time can mean that he can use neither of the two. All across the poem, it seems that Prufrock does not leave the room, even though he imagines a journey. The concepts of space and time are indeterminate to the character, as they are only what he wants them to be. He lives with the fear that there is no way to stop time, and that he will end up becoming an old man.

Time had not been gentle on Prufrock and this had brought him to the point where he is not even able to distinguish between past, present, and future. He looks forward to visiting his potential lover, imagining all the phases of his undertaking and planning his journey in great detail. However, he instantly jumps to the point where it had become to late for him to take his strategy further. Not only is the visit no longer possible for him, but it appears that he no longer holds any hope for his chance in this matter, feeling powerless.

Prufrock is predisposed to failure because he lives in his own mind and does not go through great efforts to reach the exterior world. He does not present destiny with the chance to unfold itself, as he only subjects himself to his prejudice. It is very probable for Prufrock's thoughts to be owed to the fleeting nature of time, as it had gone so fast that the character did not even get the opportunity to act.

Nothing can be done without the interference of time, as one can eat, sleep, love, or move, and all of these actions will be reported to a period of time. Jay Gatsby is a successful man, but his life is not exactly as he wants it to be. He is not satisfied with the fact that he has become a millionaire, because all of his possessions cannot bring him what he envisions as happiness. Gatsby wasted all of his time believing that his life would end up exactly as he expected it to. However, his dream did not materialize, making him realize that he carelessly disregarded some of his most prized possessions throughout his life.

The character is mainly interested in bringing his memories back to life by getting together with Daisy. In the process of reviving his memories, he ends up disappointed with what Daisy turned out to be. Gatsby's illusions regarding his past blind him and render him indifferent to the circumstances. "Carpe Diem" (seize the day) is an expression that is unknown to Gatsby, taking into consideration that he is mainly interested in his past and in his future. This can be deemed to be a reason for his unhappiness. It is as if time has no continuity for the character as he clings on to his past concomitantly with looking forward to embrace the future. Gatsby practically wanted to transform his past into his future. In order to do this, he started to dedicate his present to his future, thus being left with no time whatsoever to enjoy his present life.

Gatsby's plans are straightforwardly obsessive. He informs Nick of his plans to marry Daisy at the house where they met five years before.

Jay Gatsby could not succeed in his life because he had accomplished all of his goals, but one. It turns out that one will most surely suffer as a result of devoting too much of his or her time to a single dream. He considers love and his success to be far more important than time itself. His disregard for time does not just relate to his life and actions, as he is also determined to have Daisy rub out five years of her life. Gatsby displays lack of interest to Nick's efforts to insure him that he could not simply bring back his past. Moreover, he wants to prove his point by encouraging Daisy to deny her past years with Tom making her tell him that she never loved her husband. Gatsby is greatly surprised when he witnesses Tom and Daisy's daughter, unsure how to react to the scene. The child is an example that time undeniably advances rapidly, with or without the approval of people.

The episode involving Gatsby catching the clock and preventing its fall is, in most probability, a reference to his attempt to control time. The fact that his head was leaning on the piece destined to measure time is but an example that he relied… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Fleeting Nature of Time.  (2010, April 28).  Retrieved January 28, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/fleeting-nature-time/15219

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