Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In the 1920s, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. Set in the euphoric after-war era of the 20s, the book follows Nick Carraway, who tells the story of Jay Gatsby. The US during the 20s, wartorn, lived in a bubble of bliss due to the stock market, the speakeasies brought by Prohibition, and by the constant parties. This bubble clouded the meek reality that the economy declined due to a decrease in demand for US products in Europe while farmers increased their production for exports. During this time, the already notorious idea of the American Dream gained popularity due to Horatio Alger and his “rags-to-riches” stories. Benjamin Franklin first established this sort of story as distinctly American by holding the belief that in America the idea of meritocracy held true. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s story follow the common “rags-to-riches” story. A poor farmer boy, he changes his name and gains a fortune through some sort of business and buys a mansion in Long Island. There he holds parties in the hopes that Daisy Buchanan, his youth sweetheart, and Nick’s cousin, will wander in some time. But, in the end, Gatsby’s restless pursuit for Daisy causes three deaths, his death included. Fitzgerald uses the characters of the book to represent different aspects of society to convey a theme. So with these representations, The Great Gatsby argues that Industrialism supports the illusion of the American Dream to maintain its predominance in society.
Due to his association with business, his economical lifestyle, and his impersonal behavior, Nick Carraway represents industries. Nick and his family associate deeply with the business world. As he tells his family’s history, Nick remarks that “my grandfather’s brother … started the whole...


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...resemble that of Benjamin Franklin, a decidedly American figure. Gatsby’s schedule makes this evident. He details every minute of his day setting time aside to “study,” to “practice elocution, [and] poise” as well to exercise and practice “baseball and sports.” (181) In a similar manner, Benjamin Franklin set parts of his day aside to make a self-evaluation, and he asked himself evaluating, for example, “What good have I done today?” In addition, Gatsby has a list of “GENERAL RESOLVES” (181) with goals to improve himself that resembles Franklin’s quest for “moral perfection” and his list of virtues he wished to gain. This parallel to Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father and symbolic American figure, gives Gatsby an innately American connotation. The symbolic “rags-to-riches” story and the innately American connotation suggest that Gatsby represents the American Dream.

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