In this paper, I will analyze F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in relation to the theme of the American Dream and how it is corrupted in the novel. I will examine the main characters, specifically Jay Gatsby, and the way their actions and motivations are shaped by their pursuit of the American Dream. Furthermore, I will examine the setting of the novel, New York City in the 1920s, and how it reflects the corruption of the American Dream. Ultimately, I will argue that The Great Gatsby serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of blindly pursuing the American Dream without considering the moral and ethical implications.
The main argument in the analysis of “The Great Gatsby” is that the American Dream, as represented by the character of Gatsby, is corrupted by the excess and superficiality of the wealthy class in the novel. The research question is what Fitzgerald is trying to say about the American Dream through the characters and setting of the novel. The novel explores themes of wealth, love, social class, and the decline of the American dream. The characters in the novel are complex and flawed, with Gatsby being the protagonist and Daisy being the love interest (BAKRI, 2019). The narrator of the story is Nick Carraway, a young man who rents a house next to Gatsby’s and becomes a close friend and confidant of his.
Fitzgerald uses vivid imagery and symbolism throughout the novel to convey the decadence and excess of the Roaring Twenties. The green light that Gatsby sees across the water from his mansion symbolizes his longing for Daisy and his futile pursuit of the American dream. The Valley of Ashes, a desolate area between West Egg and New York City, symbolizes the moral decay of society and the corruption of the American dream (BAKRI, 2019). “The Great Gatsby” is considered a classic of American literature and is widely studied in high schools and colleges. It is often praised for its commentary on the excesses of the 1920s and its exploration of the human condition.
This part analyses the corrupting influence of wealth and the American Dream. The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is often considered a commentary on the failure of the American Dream (Rafik, p.11). The novel takes place during the Roaring Twenties, a time of great economic prosperity in the United States, but also a time of great social upheaval. The main character, Jay Gatsby, is a wealthy man who has achieved his wealth through illegal means, but he is also a romantic figure who embodies the American Dream of self-made success through hard work and determination. However, Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to his downfall, as his desire for wealth and status is not fulfilled, and he loses the love of his life.
Matthew J. Bruccoli’s “Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald” provides insight into Fitzgerald’s own experiences and the personal influences that shaped the novel (Widiantari et al. l, 2021). Bruccoli argues that Fitzgerald’s own failed pursuit of wealth and love, as well as his experiences living in the East during the 1920s, informed the themes of the novel.
The second section discusses the illusion of the past. Gatsby is fixated on his past relationship with Daisy and spends much of the novel trying to recreate the past. However, the novel ultimately suggests that one cannot go back to the past and that the past is inevitably different from how we remember it. The illusion of the past is a recurring theme in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (Leiwakabess, p. 79). The novel is set in the 1920s and explores the lives of wealthy individuals living in the fictional town of West Egg on Long Island. The protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious figure who is deeply in love with a woman named Daisy, who is from his past. Ronald Berman’s “The Great Gatsby and the Limits of Dream” examines the novel through the lens of the American Dream.
Berman argues that Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to his downfall, as his desire for wealth and love is not fulfilled (Anja, 2019). Throughout the novel, Gatsby is consumed by his longing for the past and his desire to relive it. He throws extravagant parties in an attempt to win Daisy back, but ultimately, his pursuit of the past proves to be futile. Gatsby’s illusion of the past ultimately leads to his downfall, as he is unable to let go of his past and move on with his life (Rafik, p.11). Additionally, the theme of the illusion of the past is present in all the characters, like Daisy, Nick, Tom, Jordan and other minor characters, who are all struggling to come to terms with their past and present.
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925, is set in the United States during the “Roaring Twenties,” a time of economic prosperity, social change, and the Cultural Revolution. The novel is set in New York City and Long Island and is a portrayal of the excesses and decadence of the era (Anja, 2019). The “Roaring Twenties” was a time of great economic prosperity and social change in the United States following the end of World War I.
The novel reflects the cultural and social changes of the time, including the rise of the “new woman,” the decline of traditional values and the emergence of a new, more liberated lifestyle. “The Great Gatsby: A Novel of the Jazz Age” by Harold Bloom, a literary critic, examines the novel in the context of the era in which it was written (Rafik, p.11). Bloom notes the novel’s exploration of the excess and moral decay of the time period and its commentary on the consequences of the pursuit of wealth and status.
The research methods used to analyze The Great Gatsby typically involve a combination of close reading of the text, analysis of the characters and setting, and examination of historical context. A close reading of the text involves a detailed examination of the language, structure, imagery and symbolism used in the novel. This method helps to uncover the deeper meanings and themes of the work. Analysis of the characters and setting involves studying the personalities, relationships, and motivations of the characters, as well as the physical and social environment in which the story takes place. This can help to reveal the social, economic, and historical context of the novel.
Examination of historical context involves studying the historical, cultural, and political events and trends that shaped the time period in which the novel is set. This can provide insight into the social, economic, and political issues depicted in the novel and can help to understand the motivations and actions of the characters. Additionally, Critics and scholars also use various critical approaches like Feminist, Marxist, Psychological, and other literary theories to analyze the novel.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, the character’s pursuit of the American Dream is a corrupt and empty pursuit. One example of this is Gatsby’s obsession with winning back Daisy, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Gatsby’s entire life is dedicated to amassing wealth and status in order to impress Daisy, but in the end, his dream is shattered when she chooses to stay with her wealthy but abusive husband instead. Another example is the character of Tom Buchanan, who embodies the corrupt nature of the American Dream. He uses his wealth and status to cheat on his wife and treat others with disdain. He is a symbol of the moral decay that results from the pursuit of wealth and status at any cost. Additionally, The Valley of Ashes, a wasteland between West Egg and New York City, serves as a reminder of the negative consequences of the American Dream.
Gatsby’s tragic end serves as a commentary on the corruption and emptiness of the American Dream when it becomes solely about material success and status rather than true happiness and fulfillment. Daisy Buchanan is portrayed as the embodiment of the wealthy upper class and the object of Gatsby’s desire, but she is shallow, self-absorbed and ultimately unresponsive to Gatsby’s love. Her actions and motivations are driven by her own desire for wealth, status, and pleasure, and she ultimately destroys Gatsby’s hopes and dreams.
The setting of the novel reflects the corruption of the American Dream in several ways. The city is a symbol of the excess and materialism that characterized the era, as well as the moral decay and corruption that came with it. The characters in the novel, including the wealthy elite, are consumed by their desire for wealth and status and will do whatever it takes to attain it, even if it means breaking the law and engaging in illicit activities. The city also represents the illusion of the American Dream, as the characters are chasing after a lifestyle and a level of success that is ultimately unattainable and unfulfilling.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that explores themes of wealth, power, love, and the illusion of the American Dream. The novel’s portrayal of the decadence and excess of the wealthy during the Roaring Twenties serves as a commentary on the shallowness and moral decay of American society during that time period. The novel’s central character, Jay Gatsby, represents the idealism and longing for a better life that many people had during the 1920s while also highlighting the destructive nature of the pursuit of wealth and status.
For the reader, the novel serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of becoming too consumed by the pursuit of wealth and status and the importance of being true to oneself and one’s values. The novel also highlights the destructive nature of the illusion of the American Dream and the disappointment and disillusionment that can come from chasing after something that may never be attainable. Additionally, the novel’s portrayal of the moral decay of the wealthy elite serves as a reminder of the corrupting influence of power and wealth and the importance of maintaining integrity and humanity in the face of such temptations.
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about the disillusionment and downfall of the wealthy Jay Gatsby in the aftermath of World War I. The novel explores themes of wealth, power, love, and the American Dream and critiques the moral decay of the upper class during the “Roaring Twenties.” The main findings of the novel are that the pursuit of wealth and power ultimately leads to corruption and moral decay and that the idea of the American Dream is ultimately unattainable. The novel also explores the destructive nature of obsession and the illusion of love.
In terms of implications for future research, The Great Gatsby could be studied in relation to the social and cultural history of the 1920s, as well as in relation to the broader themes of wealth, power, and the American Dream in literature. The novel explores themes of love, wealth, and the decay of the American Dream, which is the idea that anyone can achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. The novel suggests that the American Dream is unattainable for many and that the pursuit of wealth and status often leads to corruption and moral decay. Ultimately, the novel serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of the pursuit of the American Dream.
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