The Great Gatsby


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THE GREAT GATSBY

     This novel is about the American dream or rather the dreams of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s. In the novel The Great Gastby notes on the careless and moral deteariation of the twenties. It is clear that fitzgerald has made a relation with his and Gatsby’s life. This can be seen in many different ways such as fitzgerald attended Yale college for a wile then went off to be in the army. In The Great Gatsby the character Gatsby went to Oxford then left to go to the army. Also Fitzgerald wanted to become a football player and I think that tom was another character by Fitzgerald that he wanted to be like. For tom was a big x football player who was rich. Fitzgerald as a boy dreamed of becoming a football hero. Football was also one of Fitzgerald's earliest attractions at Princeton University. Fitzgerald tried out for the Princeton freshman team but was cut within the first week. As a successful professional Fitzgerald translated his love of the game into two Saturday Evening Post stories.
     This novel is filled with multiple themes but the predominate one focuses on the death of the American Dream. This can be explained by how Gatsby came to get his fortune. Through his dealings with organized crime he didn't hold to the American Dream guidelines. Nick also suggests this with the manner in which he talks about all the rich characters in the story. The immoral people have all the money.
     The thought of repeating the past. Gatsby's whole being since going off to war is devoted to getting back together with Daisy and have things be the way they were before he left. That's why Gatsby got a house like the one Daisy used to live in right across the bay from where she lives. He expresses this desire by reaching towards the green light on her porch early in the book. The last paragraph, So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past reinforces this.
     Fitzgerald was in his twenty's when he wrote this novel and since he went to Princeton he was considered a spokesman for his generation. He wrote about the immorality that was besieging the 1920's. Organized crime ran rampant, people were partying all the time, and affairs were common play. The last of which Fitzgerald portrays well in this novel.
     Ernest Hemingway Fitzgerald's friend and literary rival once commented that "poor Scott Fitzgerald" was "wrecked" by his "romantic awe" of the rich.

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This was true I think because Fitzgerald was obsessed with the rich. It also has many references to the last scene. Like the overdoing of Gatsby's parties, the bad manners of the guests and the hint of Gatsby's participation in organized crime all identify the time period in witch the story took place.
     As a part of social review The Great Gatsby also describes the failure of the American dream. from the view that American political ideals conflict with the social conditions that exist. For where American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people. When truth is that social discrimination still exists. Because the divisions among the classes cannot be overcome. Myrtle's attempt to crack into the group to which the Buchanans belong, is doomed to fail. Myrtle taking advantage of her lively nature, she try’s to escape from her own class. She enters in an affair with Tom and try’s to take on his way of living. But she only becomes crude and corrupt like the rest of the rich. In this Myrtle scorns people from her own class, including her husband, and loses all sense of morality. In all her social desire, Myrtle never succeeds in her try to find a place for herself in Tom's class. When it comes to a crisis, the rich stand together against all other outsiders. Myrtle's situation, of course, is a lesser image of Gatsby's more significant struggle for daisy. As Myrtle's desire springs from social desire, Gatsby's is related more to his principle, his faith in his life's possibilities. Undoubtedly, Gatsby desire is also affected by his social thoughts. Daisy, who is very wealthy and beautiful, represents a way of life which is much different from Gatsby's and therefore more appealing to him because it is out of reach. But, social consciousness is not a root cause. It directs and increases Gatsby's belief in life's possibilities. Like Myrtle, Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group, but his attempt is more urgent because his whole life is devoted to getting daisy. Failure, therefore, is more devastating for Gatsby. His whole career, his confidence in himself and in life is totally shattered when he fails to win Daisy. His death when it comes is almost insignificant, for, with the collapse of his dream, Gatsby is already spiritually dead.
     As social irony, The Great Gatsby is also a notice of moral lack in modem American society. The concern here is with the abandonment of values and the lessening of spiritual life. That is a condition which is related to the American Dream. The novel notes the early idealism of the first settlers in America. Fitzgerald himself relates Gatsby's dream to that of the early Americans because, at the end of the novel, Nick recalls the former Dutch sailors and compares their sense of wonder with Gatsby's hope. The book also seems to look into how Americans lost their purpose as material success wiped out spiritual goals. The lives of the Buchanans were filled with material comforts and luxuries, useless and empty of purpose, represents this condition. Daisy's sadness is especially proving of this. “What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?' cried Daisy, 'and the day after that, and the next thirty years?” Fitzgerald stresses the need for hope and dreams to give meaning and direction to our efforts. Striving towards some goal is the way in by which man can feel a sense of involvement, and a sense of his own identity. Certainly, Gatsby, with “his extraordinary gift of hope”, set against the empty existence of Tom and Daisy, witch makes it seem to fulfill a heroic greatness. Fitzgerald goes on to state that the failure of hopes and dreams, the failure of the American Dream itself, is certain, not only because fact can not keep up with ideals, but also because the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realized. The heroic story of Gatsby, therefore, should not be taken at what it seems, for we can not overlook the fact that Gatsby is naive, unpracticed and over sentimental. It is this which makes him attempt the impossible, to repeat the past. There is something pathetic and absurd about the way he refuses to grow up.
     “George Wilson compares The eyes of T. J. Eckleburg convey to the eyes of God looking over the valley of Ashes. The unmoving eyes on the billboard look down on the Valley of Ashes and see all the immorality and garbage of the times.”
     In conclusion F. Scott Fitzgerald was a writer that put much of his life in his book the Great Gatsby. He also noted all the immorality that was going on in the twenties. Which made him famous for calling it the jazz age.


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