The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

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The American Dream inspires the tired, the poor and huddled masses
yearning
to breathe free. It serves as the beacon of light for the oppressed or
the
determined to find wealth and opportunity in America. It was in the
hopes
and dreams of the old Dutch sailors, the revolutionary patriots, and in
the
youth who had witnessed the first World War. An archetype of the post
World
War I American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald expressed in his writing
the
profound shift in values accompanied by the Dream in the 1920 's. In The
Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald presents the American Dream as a hedonistic
and
irresponsible product of post-WWI America. He develops this view of the
American Dream through the characters, James Gatsby and Daisy, and
through
the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, symbolically watching over the American
hopes of the era.

Fitzgerald uses the main character, James Gatsby, as a manifestation of
the
excessive hedonism and carelessness of the 1920 's. Gatsby plans large
social gatherings at his estate with the futile goal of attracting
Daisy,
but as their affair progresses, they become reckless due to Gatsby 's
inability to handle the relationship. After quarreling at Tom 's house,
Gatsby and Daisy drive off and accidentally “kill [Myrtle]" as she
"rushed
out to see them” (144). Fitzgerald criticizes the American Dream
because
people seem to become hasty and show little regard for others. Gatsby
and
Daisy do not think much of the Myrtle 's death aside from one
nerve-racking
night. Milton Stern elaborates that “Gatsby, like the upper-class
elites
whom he tried to associate himself with, was capable of committing a
gross
injustice and allowing his money or his connections to pay for his
carelessness” (63). In addition, towards the en...


... middle of paper ...


...through the symbolism of Dr. Eckleburg 's eyes. Gatsby
achieves
wealth through illegal bootlegging, and constantly plans parties and
events
in a vain attempt to win the love of his true dream, Daisy. Because
Gatsby
does not acknowledge the fact that Tom and Daisy are married, and that
Daisy will not give up Tom and his money, Gatsby is unable to recreate
the
past. The carelessness of Fitzgerald 's character is evident in their
single-

minded pursuits and the rejection of faith. The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg
look
down upon the masses of disillusioned young people, and promote the
emptiness of the American Dream that has abandoned moral restraint and
spiritual guidance. For many, the America of Fitzgerald 's time seemed
to be
land of opportunity, but The Great Gatsby presents the poignant example
of
a society where the American dream entails pleasure seeking above all
else

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