Great Gatsby Essay
“Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald is one of the best American novels owing to its thematic strength. It reflects “The Jazz Age” of 1920s and the writer artistically examine the theme of aspiration in America during this era. Fitzgerald wrote this novel as a satire on this so called glamorous period. This novel is about Gatsby, newly rich person, who is obsessed with desire of reuniting with a lady, Daisy, whom he loses in past just because of status difference.
The main theme of this novel is while many desire the American Dream of easy, quick money and measuring success and happiness only with material wealth; eventually they realize this perfect dream is certainly unachievable. This dream leads Gatsby from Poverty to wealth and he finally gets Daisy’s love. But the end of the novel exposes the ugly side of this American Dream. There are many social themes in the story including Dream, vision, honesty, time, wealth, superficiality and shallowness, societal expectation, disloyalty, immorality and selfishness.
The surface study shows that its about love relation between Gatsby and Daisy. But the story has much broader theme rather than big romantic scope. The most dominating theme of the story is that of “American Dream” or rather “Perverted American Dream”. It is very symbolic story of “Roaring Age” of 1920s America, particularly the story of shattering of American Dream in that era of economic prosperity and material abundance. It exposes how the American people adulterated American Dream by indulging in immoral and unethical pursuits of wealth.
The energy to be burnt in noble purpose gets started to be burnt in show off and individual pleasure, fame and success. All other themes of the novel strengthens this theme through out the story. The people become selfish, indulge themselves in vulgar means of wealth, disloyalty is at its peak and the most important of all; they forget the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. Theme of wealth supports the main theme in the strongest way. It is desire of possessing enormous wealth which blinds one from real objective.
It is wealth which betrays the characters of the story from their noble goal and leads them to wrong way. That is how noble American dream is corrupted. Insight and vision of the characters are blurred due to obsession of wealth. The characters are too blind to know their own self or others’. The writer is successful in connecting this blindness of characters with main theme of “Disintegration of American Dream”. The story also describes the theme of “Time”. The novel depicts both pre-war and post-war scenario in a way that we clearly come to know the differences which occur during that period.
The mind of characters becomes so materialistic in the wake of World War1 that they are highly scorned by old aristocratic class who once had a high and unrivaled prestige. Its this change of time which results in shattering of “Noble American Dream”. Gatsby gets back her beloved, Daisy, winning her heart by showing off his wealth. A simpler, better, nobler time, perhaps, a time when people believed in the importance of the family and the church turns into materialistic time in which everything is measured through wealth.
There’s no denying the fact that the fall of American dream is the super theme of the story and rest of the themes support it fully. The story shows how reality turns into illusion and how dream is shattered. It shows the impossibility of American dream in an era of immorality where there is no place for religion and ethics but for wealth, the prime interest.
Reference: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The great Gatsby Scribner Paperback Fiction. New York. 1995
Subject: Great Gatsby,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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