An Analysis of the Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s modernist novel, The Great Gatsby, epitomises the spirit of an America that is both shadowed by the memories of World War One and shining with the superficial radiance of the Gilded Age. Through the use of the motif of birds throughout his book, Fitzgerald warns urgently of the dangers of mindless self-indulgence and limitless longing, destructive emotions that ran rampant through the lives of the people of his time. Much of the time, the motif of birds supports the theme that one cannot judge something by its appearance, a thought that supports much of what Fitzgerald develops. There is much symbolism surrounding birds and eggs and it is this symbolism that plays an enormous role in understanding the motivations of the novel’s primary characters, and thereby understanding the sentiments of an entire early 20th century society. The names of characters and places in the novel play are worth acknowledging as many are named after birds, allowing for a deeper analysis of their thoughts and actions. Additionally, a bird related allegory assists in the description of the author’s feelings towards the morals and values of the Gilded age. The symbolism lying behind the many aspects of birds also helps to define the novel as a whole and help readers understand the purpose of the work as a whole. This novel is extremely relevant for Americans of the present time as our society currently faces many of the same issues described in the book. Though this book was meant as a social commentary for a tumultuous past era, many of the issues it criticises are still alive today and through this novel, readers can find both reassurance and dubiety in the present and future st...
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...if of birds and the reoccurring theme that judgement should not be based on appearance alone serves to create a classic masterpiece that transcends time and reminds many generations of the fragility of humanity and how crucial it is to maintain an equilibrium in every facet of life.
1. Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1996. Print.
2. Twain, Mark. "Revised Catechism." Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays: 1891-1910. New York: Library of America, 1992. Print.
3. Santayana, George. Reason in Common Sense: Volume One of The Life of Reason. New York: Dover Publications, 1980. Print.
4. PBS. PBS. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.
5. "History." Pigments through the Ages -. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.
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