F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Conflicting Ideals Essay

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Conflicting Ideals Essay

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Conflicting Ideals in The Great Gatsby  


Throughout the world, societies can become cruel and unjustified machines. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the morality of a society is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences its characters experience. The two societies within the novel, West Egg and East Egg, create an atmosphere of mixed ideals and morals, so completely opposite of each other. Three examples will be given to support the above thesis. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, arguably the main character, is involved in a number of criminal activities. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of their society are revealed through their actions. Finally Nick Carraway, the narrator, is truly and innocent in a society gone mad. These three points will be elaborated below.

Firstly, Jay Gatsby, formerly known as Jay Gatz, is a figure of the the corruption of the American Dream. He is an illegal bootlegger, an acquaintance of gamblers and con artists. His activities are constantly denounced by Tom Buchanan throughout the novel. His criminal activies reveal the morality of yesteryears society. His lavish and extravagant parties are another symbol of the morality of his society. Early in the evening, people are happy, dancing the night away, and are generally having a good time. But, the facade of the party quickly departs, and the true nature of these events are revealed. People get drunk, douse themselves in the pool to sober up, spouses fight and bicker over nonsequential items. And when all of this is over, the floor is covered with orange rings, spilled cocktails, along with other party nostalgia. All of this is a setup, so that Gatsby can get Daisy's at...

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...saddened by the coldness of the people who do not care unwillingly to the funeral. Out of all the people who attend the parties, four join the funeral. So, the choices and consequences of Nick's experience clearly define the morality of the two societies.

To sum things up, the morals of a society are revealed by the actions of its inhabitants. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, is involved in a number of criminal activities, and is the father-figure of the corruption of the American Dream. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of the East Egg society are revealed by their actions. Finally, Nick Carraway, is truly an innocent in a myriad of scheming, cheating con artists. Therefore, their unjustified beliefs truly define the morality of a society which is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences of its characters from within.


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