English Speech Essay

Submitted By deathlyhallow-s
Words: 891
Pages: 4

Self worth is a fundamental aspect to humanity and is an essential determinant of an individual’s personal health and well-being. It is the feeling that you are a capable person who deserves to be treated with respect. Good Morning Miss Gibbs and fellow Old Sports, have you ever defined your worth through others’ approval of your looks and performance? Or have you changed outfits several times because your not satisfied with the way you look? Have you ever let these thoughts and opinion affect you? As individuals, our self worth is often assured by a variety of factors that reflect our attitude and values such as accomplishments, appearances, jobs and social stability. Baz Luhrmann’s film, The Great Gatsby and Robert Stevenson’s novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde demonstrate how one’s self worth can be but isn’t always determined by their social class, interactions with others and opinions of others. Using a variety of film and literacy techniques across various contexts, even today, these ideas are relevant.

The Great Gatsby explores the importance of wealth and social status during the roaring twenties and how it shapes peoples attitudes. Jay Gatsby, a wealthy, influential figure, initially believes wealth is the most important determinant in his self worth. This is typical, since society in the 1920’s deemed wealth and social class above everything else. The flashback of young James Gatz leaving his parents to become Jay Gatsby, a man worthy of being “gods son,” shows how Gatsby believed he would reach his full potential if he leaves his life of poverty and becomes to rich. His encounter with “millionaire” Dan Cody “was his opportunity he seized” to achieve his goal of being successful.

Upon meeting Daisy, Gatsby experiences a shift in values. It is only when Gatsby discovers that Daisy’s husband is better off than him that he pursues wealth in order to live up to her expectations. Despite having acquired an abundance of wealth and developing a sprawling reputation as a multi-millionaire, Gatsby only ever endeavors seek acceptance from Daisy and values her opinions more than he does wealth. Gatsby “got all these things for her” and “threw all those parties hoping Daisy would wander in one night”. His loneliness is further captured through the long shot of his solitary silhouette on the jetty as he reaches for the green lantern. The green lantern across the lake symbolizes Gatsby’s hope and desire for Daisy’s recognition and acceptance. After Daisy and Gatsby’s reunion, Gatsby continued attempts to impress Daisy so he can prove to both himself and her of his worthiness are depicted through the sequencing montage of shots. He knew that by flaunting his house and his nice clothes, he would attract Daisy’s attention. Throughout the film, Gatsby creates an identity through his possessions in order, to establish his self worth.

Like Gatsby, Robert Stevenson’s, Dr Jekyll is a well-liked doctor with a respectable reputation who is seen as “a large well-made, smooth faced… mark of capacity and kindness.” Underneath this gentle exterior, Jekyll has a repressed dark side he’s ashamed of. In order to cater to those deviant urges and express them without any consequences of besmirching his good name, Jekyll adopts a whole new persona by undergoing a physical transformation to protect his ego. By becoming Mr Hyde, he is able to indulge all of Dr Jekyll’s eccentric desires that would otherwise be frowned upon in this Victorian society without guilt. This includes Hyde’s trampling of a girl and the murder of…