F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

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The Roaring Twenties, a time that embodies the essence of the American Dream, is the setting behind the Great Gatsby; it was a time when self-indulgence overshadowed the moral compass of society. In Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald exemplifies this attitude of society through the observations of his narrator, Nick Carraway, who serves as the moral compass throughout the book. Nick, a young man inclined to reserve judgment, from Minnesota goes to New York City to learn the bond business. He moves in to a small house in West Egg where he observes multiple issues between opposing characters, which causes him to morally change and ethically grow. According to Fraser, the technique of counterpoint is used as a major technical device by Fitzgerald to construct instances where Nick is put in a situation out of his comfort zone. Nick is forced to change as a character to understand and analyze the situations he observes and experiences. Nick is morally changed and ethically defined in a positive way because of his observations of the contrasts between characters, setting and plot.
Through the observations of the polar opposite personalities of Jay and Tom, Nick finds learns that you cannot judge someone only based on their social status or individual worth, but on moral and ethical terms. Nick believed that “reserving judgment is a matter of infinite hope” (p.2), and before he moved to West Egg he was a very hopeful person. The first time Nick observed an interaction between Jay and Tom was in the cellar under forty-second street: “they shook hand briefly, and a stained, unfamiliar look of embarrassment came over Gatsby’s face”(p.74). Nick notices there is something different about Gatsby when he interacts with Tom. This causes Nick to become awa...


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... The East Egg represents the careless and inconsiderate old money and upper class that uses money to ease their minds from ever worrying about hurting others. Both East Egg and West Egg combined make up the upper class in the East which embodies the idea of moral hollowness, which is represented by the valley of ashes and the moral and social decay of America.
Gatsby embodies the classic tragic and romantic genre. Gatsby loves Daisy but he cannot be with her because of obstacles in the way of their love such as social class and Tom Buchanan. Gatsby had big dreams for the future because he was living in the past, and Gatsby, a noble and morally just person who was afflicted by the “foul dust (that) floated in the wake of his dreams” (p.2). When Gatsby’s dream fails he sacrifices himself to show his love for Daisy, making him similar to a Christ figure in the novel.

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