America and the Decay of Morality: The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises Introduction

America and the Decay of Morality: The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises Introduction

Length: 2099 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

America is a popular image in literature and films. Dozens of writers sought to expose America’s vices and evaluate the consistency of its values, morality, and ethical norms. The pursuit for material wealth and the American dream were the topics most frequently discussed in American literature during the 1920s. The effects of World War I on individual beliefs and ideals, the ongoing decay of morality, the hollowness of dreams and convictions, and the failure to materialize one’s life goals together created a complicated situation, which often resembled a journey for nothing.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises are equally similar and different. The two stories are similar in their commitment to the failure of the American dream and its moral hollowness. However, the means and literary methods which the two authors choose to prove their point are distinctly different. Hemingway and Fitzgerald attempted to evoke aimless traveling across East to West and West to East through their writing styles in which the various nature of modernism in literature is reflected. Hemingway adopts his original sentence structure called “cablese” which consists of ordinary speech and exact words without any vague expressions, while Fitzgerald describes the protagonist, Gatsby through Nick’s perspective.
The purpose of this essay is to examine how the two modernist writers depict America in the 1920’s in a state of moral decay and the pursuit for material wealth gradually replaces the purity of conventional moral ideals and beliefs in their ways by comparing and contrasting the two novels.
Both stories are considered to be fictional representations of the American dream—moral decay in America and the fa...


... middle of paper ...


...

Conclusion
The American Dream and the decay of American values has been one of the most popular topics in American fiction in the 20th century. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises create a full picture of American failure and pursue its ideals after the end of World War I by portraying the main characters as outsiders and describing the transportation in a symbolic way. Putting the aimless journeys for material life foreground, Fitzgerald and Hemingway skillfully link West and men and associate East to not only money but women. As American modernists, Hemingway utilizes his simple and dialog-oriented writing to appeal to readers and Fitzgerald ambiguously portrays Gatsby through a narrator, Nick, to cynically describe American virtue and corruption, which substantially contribute to modernism in literature.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- The picture is trying to prove F. Scott Fitzgerald discontent for the moral decay that occurred in the 1920s by the face with the appearance of wealth, the colorful, inviting, and bright city, and the variety of colors used throughout the picture. F. Scott Fitzgerald discontentment for the moral decay that existed in the 1920s is apparent by the face displayed in the center of the cover of the book he wrote about the 1920s, The Great Gatsby. The face gives the appearance of wealth by the set of rhinestones that line the right eye, and the bright red lips....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Morality]

Strong Essays
720 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

- To think of a day in which one will no longer serve one’s neighbor and aid those who are in need seems too absurd. No reasonable human being under our kind and forgiving nature would be able to do this without any sort of guilt or disgust in themselves. But these thoughts came close to becoming a full blown reality back in the 1920’s especially following the prosperity of The Great War. People looked for their own wealth and prosperity to keep up with the society of the time. In doing so, the entire human race’s morality came into question....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Strong Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway as the Foil, Protagonist, and Narrator

- In The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway functions as both the foil and protagonist, as well as the narrator. A young man from Minnesota, Nick travels to the West Egg in New York to learn about the bond business. He lives in the district of Long Island, next door to Jay Gatsby, a wealthy young man known for throwing lavish parties every night. Nick is gradually pulled into the lives of the rich socialites of the East and West Egg. Because of his relationships with Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom, and others, along with his nonjudgmental demeanor, Nick is able to undertake the many roles of the foil, protagonist, and the narrator of The Great Gatsby....   [tags: characters, Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, ]

Strong Essays
592 words (1.7 pages)

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the corruption of the American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to attain its illusionary goals. As the novel shows, the 20th century is a moral wasteland and a corruption of the original idealistic American Dream of the past. Fitzgerald's moral wasteland is shown physically in the "valley of ashes" scene of the novel. This 'dismal' and 'desolate' wasteland exists side-by-side with the white and unreal dream of Daisy and her world....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Strong Essays
513 words (1.5 pages)

The Great Gatsby and Today Essay example

- Society today is split in many different ways: the smart and the dumb, the pretty and the ugly, the popular and the awkward, and of course the rich and the poor. This key difference has led to many areas of conflict among the population. The rich and the poor often have different views on issues, and have different problems within their lives. Moral decay and materialism are two issues prevalent among the wealthy, while things such as socio-economic class conflict and the American dream may be more important to those without money....   [tags: socioeconomic class separation]

Strong Essays
1573 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

- F. Scott Fitzgerald uses The Great Gatsby in order to display the wretchedness of upper-class society in the United States. The time period, the 1920s, was an age of new opulence and wealth for many Americans. As there is an abundance of wealth today, there are many parallels between the behavior of the wealthy in the novel and the behavior of today’s rich. Fitzgerald displays the moral emptiness and lack of personal ethics and responsibility that is evident today throughout the book. He also examines the interactions between social classes and the supposed noblesse oblige of the upper class....   [tags: sociological analysis]

Strong Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Gatsby Essay Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. For example, a dove is usually used to represent peace. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald uses a lot of symbolism to connect the characters with each other or to other objects. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism helps advance his thematic interest in his novel of The Great Gatsby. In the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses various colors, objects, and gestures as symbols to portray the lack of moral and spiritual values of people and the different aspects of society in the 1920's....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
870 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Caos and Crime in the The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- ... The character, Daisy also reveals the manner in which people in the story discarded faiths when it states, "You see, cried Catherine triumphantly. She lowered her voice again. It’s really his wife that's keeping them apart. She's a Catholic, and they don't believe in divorce. Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie”(Fitzgerald 142). When one reads this, it dawns on them that religion is absent from all the characters’ lives. Here it only serves as an excuse for Tom to not marry Myrtle....   [tags: scarcity principle, evils in society]

Strong Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)

Themes in Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby Essay

- In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, there are several themes. Some include The death of the American Dream, hope, and uselessness of women. These all are the three most important themes and expressed a lot throughout the story. Even though this whole story might seem like a romantic tale, one of the important theme’s is actually the death of the American Dream. F.Scott Fitzgerald shows this by showing us the people’s greed for money and decay of the moral values. One example that shows people’s greed is the way Gatsby acquired his money mostly from Dan Cody (pg 107) so he didn’t really have to work too hard for this fortune and thus, got in the habit of getting everything...   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Analyse the symbolism of colour in The Great Gatsby.

- Analyse the symbolism of colour in The Great Gatsby. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “the Great Gatsby” he uses many literary devices. One of the most obvious is colour, and in this essay I will explore how Fitzgerald uses colours like white, green and yellow to help convey 1920’s America and Gatsby’s struggle for Daisy Buchanan. White features most strongly in the novel and becomes a way for people to hide behind false facades. In “The Great Gatsby” white symbolises royalty innocence and purity and can also be seen to represent the way the wealthy falsely themselves....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
505 words (1.4 pages)