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Harry Houdini and Jay Gatsby were both famous figures of the Roaring Twenties in America Both men very much reflected although in different ways the wild risk-taking standards of their times Houdini was renowned for his incredible escapes and magic tricks Gatsby the main character in F Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby was a playboy and prominent member of Long Island society Although different in many ways both of them worked to find happiness in their personal lives Both men were devoted to feminine characters Houdini to his mother and Gatsby to his beloved Daisy Neither could ultimately maintain his love Despite their different personalities and interests in struggling to find their roles in 1920s society both Harry Houdini and Jay Gatsby shared some important similarities Harry Houdini lived very modestly and became very interested in spiritual matters He made his living performing death defying stunts in front of large crowds of people In his book Ragtime EL Doctorow writes of Houdini His life was absurd He went all over all the world accepting all kinds of bondage and escaping Doctorow p 6 Some of the stunts were being lowered into the Detroit River while handcuffed inside a chain casket and being lowered upside down into a water torture chamber Houdini enjoyed being the center of attention and always wanted to impress people He was constantly searching for new and better ways to entertain people Houdini had a great love for his mother and after she died he became intrigued in trying to contact the dead He thought of her at rest in the coffin under the earth He wept bitterly He wanted to be next to herHe knew what it was to be sealed in the earth but he felt now it was the only place for him What good was life without his beloved little mother Doctorow pp165-66 Houdini loved his mother greatly and looked to her for guidance and when
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