The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a story of morals and American idealism, this being a major theme of the book, which is corrupted by using materials as its means. Nick, the narrator as well as one of the main characters of The Great Gatsby, has moved to the East coast from the West to learn the bond business.
Without a doubt, it is a fantastic representation of an age in American history when everything was possible, or at least people thought it was. The underlying cause for everything that happens in the novel is an idea, an idea towards which everyone strives and dreams of.
This idea is none other than the omnipresent notion of the American Dream. You have to be loyal to a dream country rather than to the one to which you wake up every morning. I believe that he described the actual nature of the concept of the American Dream perfectly. The actual nature of this dream and the manner in which people try to achieve it, as well as the moral implications their actions bring, are some of the main themes explored in The Great Gatsby.
But what exactly is this famous American Dream? Some might say that it is a quest for wealth, prosperity and generally a high position in society, while others might say that it is nothing else but the act of settling down, having a family, being able to provide for them, and basically having a good life.
What is true is that all of these notions can be ascribed to the fundamental idea of the American Dream. Through the passing of time, the original quest for settlement and freedom has evolved into a continuing struggle to achieve a big house, a nice car, and a life of ease.
This materialistic aspect of the American dream is the one presented in The Great Gatsby. In the novel, there is a strong division between the rich and the poor.
This division is clearly and somewhat witfully summed up in Mr. On one side there is West Egg, and on the other there is East Egg. This division can be seen not merely as a division between the haves and the have-nots, since some people in West Egg are also rich.
Now, America itself is corrupted, so the characters in The Great Gatsby travel from west to east - in search of wealth and sophistication - leaving the moral values and stability of the west behind. It is this eastern part which is called a "valley of ashes" by Fitzgerald, a place where morals are left out and only superficial, material-driven people can live in peace.
Fitzgerald uses this change in direction as a symbol for the deterioration of American ideals and the American Dream, helping to prove that our quest for wealth and sophistication is corrupting our culture, and causing us to live in a wasteland of morals - an ash heap of civilization.
The famous image of the valley of ashes is not only a symbol for the corrupt society of East Egg, it also symbolizes the wasteland of humanity in a godless age.
Furthermore, the West is usually associated with traditional values like raising a family and providing for them, and in a sense that is still the American Dream for many people who strive to nothing more than a secure and a fairly good life.
However, the East, especially in the s, represents the corruption of the original notion of the American Dream. Everything concerning the lives of the people living in East Egg is connected with money and material possessions, the purpose of which is to ensure the easiness of their lives.
In The Great Gatsby this obsession with material possessions becomes absurd. The fact that Gatsby owns such a gadget and actually makes his butler press a button two hundred times for simple orange juice shows how much have his morals and vision of good life become distorted.
Once this goal is achieved, preserving it becomes the only important thing in life. The only way to gain reputation and wealth, especially if you have a poor social background, is to reinvent oneself.
Perhaps the most prominent example in the novel of how a person reinvents oneself in order to achieve a certain goal is the life of Jay Gatsby, who is actually James Gatz. Coming from a modest family in North Dakota, as a seventeen year old boy James Gatz drifts from one place to another, working his way to a better life.
In that period, even though he acquired some money, he is rejected by Daisy Fay, whose background is far more distinguished than his. Even though she does feel some sort of affection towards him, the fact that he had to go to war and his poor background represented a serious financial and social obstacle.
After that, Gatsby had even more reason to become a completely different person. Because of his obsession with Daisy, Gatsby deludes himself into thinking that he can buy love with money.
Regardless of his riches, he is not a happy man because the love of his life is married with another man, and she seems to ignore him despite all of his 4 achievements.
The reason why he throws his lavish and flamboyant parties is not to make friends or socialize, it is to attract Daisy. Even though his house is full of people we learn that he is in fact lonely even when among the very people who visit his parties.
By participating in such extravagant parties they see themselves as members of the elite to which they wish to belong, and they deceive themselves into thinking that they could improve their social status if they meet the right people. Anyone who has money is immediately seen as welcome.
The mere fact that they thought Nick had money was enough for them to accept him as their own. Through this, Fitzgerald demonstrates how empty and rotten have become the lives of people who devote themselves to nothing more than accumulating money and social standing.
The fact is that to him the proximity of wealthy people is not comforting at all, in fact it makes him even more anxious. Nick represents the opposite path that Gatsby could have taken from the Midwest. Much more than Gatsby, who is ultimately recognised as a good person by Nick, the baseness of the American Dream in the novel is represented by Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom.
Even as a young girl, Daisy was heavily influenced by false splendour of a life in rich society. The only thing that is different about her is that she has become even more absorbed in her own world filled with money, parties, fast cars and new dresses.
Daisy is the symbol of all that Gatsby strives for; her voice is full of money, as Gatsby describes it.His major novels include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night.
About the Narrator Alexander Scourby (–) was a stage and screen actor. Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Decline of the American Dream in the s.
|The Great Gatsby Notes-IOC Prep | The Great Gatsby | Zelda Fitzgerald | School Work||Scott Fitzgerald is a story set in the period of glamorous American history known as the Roaring Twenties, a time famous both for its booming economy and bustling energy as well as its social decay and conflict between the different parts of America. The Great Gatsby is set in the short span of just one summer in the wild excitement and vitality of New York.|
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|The Great Gatsby||Fitzgerald utilized one particular character in such a way that makes him an ideal subject for this essay. This essential character In the story Is none other than Nick Caraway, the antithesis of Gatsby and a peripheral narrator of the book.|
On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a . Decay. Decay is a word that Violence is a key theme in The Great Gatsby, and is most embodied by the character of Tom.
An ex-football player, he uses his immense physical strength to intimidate those around him. The Great Gatsby study guide contains a biography of F.
Scott Fitzgerald, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a severe indictment on American society in the s, with particular emphasis on the disintegration of the American dream corrupted by materialism of the upper class, the moral decay and carelessness of the wealthy.
It was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. At last, Myrtle, Gatsby, twisted relationships, and cars, serve as symbols illustrating the corruption of the American Dream shown throughout The Great Gatsby.
Morals and values decay as the characters seek American materialism driven by self-indulgence.