The Great Gatsby

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Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby utilises the interaction between Jay Gatsby and his dreams, to accentuate and explore relevant ideas. As a result, Gatsby’s antagonistic dreams and materialistic values portray how his character has developed and portrayed before and after his death, in contrast to the protagonist who is Gatsby’s character and personality. This is because it is his dreams and ideals that blind him from conceiving the idea that he is an unaccepted individual in American society and that he is inferior to the other citizens of West Egg; the outcome of this is his death at the end of the novel. Forbidden love is explored by Gatsby’s misunderstanding of why he cannot fall in love with Daisy, because it is almost as he perceives society to be egalitarian and not hierarchical. This is shown by vivid imagery, when ‘He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way … a single green light, minute far away, that might have been the end of a dock?’ (Fitzgerald, 2010, p. 25). Gatsby ‘stretched out his arm’, to grasp the ‘green light’, which is an inanimate representation of Daisy, or more significantly his ideal perception of society. The colour ‘green’ infers that Gatsby’s addiction is chronic: he cannot live without her, and perceived by others as a sickening obsession. From a social viewpoint, ‘green’ also represents Daisy’s innate wealth. Additionally, the stationary ‘dock’ shows that reality is still and that he will never form a relationship with Daisy or anyone in West Egg. However, ‘minute’ reinforces this because it represents that his past love is ‘far away’ and will never be in Gatsby’s hands. Furthermore, the materialism demonstrated by Gatsby’s relationship between his charact... ... middle of paper ... ..., exaggerates this to show that Gatsby’s death was inevitable: destiny. The ‘dumping ground’ is also a crude reference to Gatsby’s position, as society ‘brood’ over his death, as he used his ambitions to claw his way into wealth, rather than being born into it, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, an idea that is beyond the social normal in America. In my opinion, I believe that Gatsby was not an ideal character to live in American society in the 1920s, because of his over-ambitious dreams and self-conflicting character. In the context of American society itself, it is cruel and discriminatory against equality, as shown by the shocking contrasts between the poor and the rich. Therefore, Fitzgerald conveys that the poor will always be poor and live a discriminatory and socialist society established by the superiority of the rich, no matter how vivid their dreams may be.

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