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

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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...

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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.

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