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Criticism In The Great Gatsby

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A cliché that everyone has heard before is ‘money can’t buy happiness”. This cliché is presented in the book The Great Gatsby even though it’s not a theme of the book it is still important. In this paper, we look at how the following theme fits the book: People’s desire for money and power can corrupt their true happiness. We will look at how the main characters fit the theme and other symbols in the book.

One of the biggest examples of this theme in the book is the character Jay Gatsby. When Jay was young his real names was James Gatz and lived in the Mid-West. He was unhappy where he lived so as a seventeen year-old he created a new identity. As it says on page 98 in the book: “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old
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When Daisy was younger and lived in Louisville, she met a lot of guys, but fell in love with Jay. She might have been with all of these guys due to her need to be loved. So when Jay left for the war her need to be loved wasn’t satisfied. After a while she meets Tom Buchanan, who wanted to marry her. To fulfil her need to be loved and to jump on the chance of her dreams to be wealthy, she decided to marry Tom and forget about Jay. She thought now with a man in her life and all the money she could want she would be happy. But that is not the case in this book as we rarely see her happy in the book. The first problem is that she is not with the love of her life. She still loved Tom and his money and what they could do together. But the second problem was that Tom was cheating on her and she knew about it. So when she finally meets back with Gatsby, she can finally be happy with him. But when Tom and Gatsby confront each other Daisy has trouble deciding who to be with the one who has money or the one who can make her happy. As we read Daisy talking to Jay on page 132: “I love you now — isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once — but I loved you too.” A little later in the book Tom describes Jay’s illegal past and that scares Daisy to choose Tom and his money over the love of her life. So we can see that again the greed for money left Daisy without her true happiness the one…show more content…
This is a symbol of Jay Gatsby’s dreams of being with Daisy. You can infer from the book that Jay Gatsby bought his West Egg Mansion so he could see that light from across the water. As we read this quote from the book when Daisy and Jay are at Jay’s mansion on page 93: “Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her”. So we can see that the distance between the green light and Gatsby, which was barely in eyesight compared to how Jay and Daisy were so close to each other all these years but haven’t met until the events in the book. Nick also represents the green light as everyone dreams and compares it to the sailors who first settled in this country. We can read this on page 180: “I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world.” So we realize that the green light in the Great Gatsby represent dreams whether it is of one person or the American
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