The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald Essay

The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald Essay

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The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald


Thesis: The pursuit of the American Dream is a dominant theme throughout The Great Gatsby, which is carried out in various ways by F. Scott Fitzgerald, how the author represents this theme through his characters and their actions is one small aspect of it.

     
Fitzgerald's dominant theme in The Great Gatsby focuses on the corruption of the American Dream. By analyzing high society during the 1920s through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, the author reveals that the American Dream has transformed from a pure ideal of security into a convoluted scheme of materialistic power. In support of this message, Fitzgerald highlights the original aspects as well as the new aspects of the American Dream in his tragic story to illustrate that a once impervious dream is now lost forever to the American people.

The foundation qualities of the American Dream depicted in The Great Gatsby are perseverance and hope. The most glorified of these characteristics is that of success against is that of success against all odds. The ethic of hard work can be found in the life of young James Gatz, whose focus on becoming a great a man is carefully documented in his ?Hopalong Cassidy? journal. When Mr. Gatz shows the tattered book to Nick, he declares, ? Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always has some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he?s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that? (Fitzgerald, pg 182). The journal portrays the continual struggle for self-improvement, which has defined the image of America as a land of opportunity. ?By comparing the young James Gatz to the young Benjamin Franklin, Fitzgerald proves that the American Dream is indeed able to survive in the face of modern society.?(Website)
A society naturally breaks up in into various social groups over time. Members of lower statuses constantly suppose that their problems will be resolved if they gain enough wealth to reach the upper class. Many interpret the American dream as being this passage to high social status and once reaching that point, not having to concern about money at all. Though, the American Dream involves more than the social and economic standings of an individual. ?The dream involves attaining a balance between the spiritual strength and the physical strength of an individual.?(Lehan, pg.53) Jay Gatsby fails to reach...


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...esurrected.

Through the unfolding events of a doomed romance, Fitzgerald simultaneously unfolds the tragic fate of American values. Gatsby possesses an extreme imbalance between the material and spiritual sides of himself. His ultimate goal of love swaps places with his secondary goal of becoming rich. He portrays the ultimate failure of the American Dream in that individuals tend to believe wealth is everything. Historically, America was the new world of endless opportunity and wealth. But a nation cannot operate solely on materialism. The spirits of individuals are the true composition of a nation.
Gatsby and the other characters of his story act as vessels for the author?s true message- the American Dream, once a pure and mighty ideal has been buried and is pressed into the ground by the inhuman void of money. Nick Caraway conveys this message as an outsider, an honest man who is witnessing the entire ordeal as an observer. The Great Gatsby is not the tribute of a name named Jay Gatsby; rather, it is the tribute of an institution which once was, but is now gone and can never be.

Works Cited:

Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. Simon and Schuster, New York. 1925.

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