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The Great Gatsby Essay Example: Symbolism and American Dream

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❶Daisy, his heartthrob, was also a mere eighteen years old just like Zelda. The Great Gatsby is regarded as a brilliant piece of social commentary, offering a vivid peek into American life in the s.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald
Three Themes in The Great Gatsby

Gatsby is the only true witness, but he takes the blame for her. Rather than renew their month-long affair, Daisy disappears into her opulent house, retreating into the only security she knows. She continues her almost ghostly existence, leaving the men in her life to clean up the mess. The child is nothing more than an afterthought, as she is unable to give Daisy anything but love, which she has in abundance.

Daisy is incapable of caring for her infant—one assumes a governess or nanny takes care of her—any more than she is able to truly love Tom or Gatsby. Daisy is capable of affection. She seems to have some loyalty to Tom, and even a certain devotion to Gatsby, or at least to the memory of their earlier time together. However, like money, Daisy is elusive and hard to hold onto. This may explain why Tom and Gatsby fight over her in chapter 7 as if she were an object:.

Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me! The tone of the argument seems almost like that of two men fighting over the pot in a poker game. Daisy is a prize, and she seems to see herself in those terms. Jay Gatsby In the first two chapters of the novel, its title character is a mystery—a wealthy, fun-loving local celebrity with a shady past who throws lavish weekly parties.

On the surface, Gatsby is an example of the American Dream in the s, the desire for wealth, love and power. Once out of high school, Gatz changed his name to Jay Gatsby and attended St. Gatsby rarely drinks, and is distant at his own lavish parties. He wants the success Cody achieved without the destructive habits that success afforded him. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy, lied about his background, and vowed to someday be good enough to win her heart.

Devastated, Gatsby went to Oxford in English for the education that would complete his transformation from poor farm boy to famous or infamous socialite. He begs Nick to set up a rendezvous with Daisy for him, which Nick does. In a confrontation at the Plaza Hotel, Tom openly accuses Gatsby of criminal activities, including bootlegging.

At this point, the Gatsby myth returns full force, as an enraged, jealous Wilson shoots Gatsby dead, then kills himself. Jay Gatsby dies that night, and James Gatz along with him, anonymous and alone. Despite all that Jay Gatsby does, James Gatz lies just beneath the surface, simply wanting to be loved. Gatsby can easily be seen as a negative character—a liar, a cheat, a criminal—but Fitzgerald makes certain we see the soul of James Gatz behind the myth of Jay Gatsby.

Fitzgerald ties Gatsby up with the American Dream, a dream of individualism and success with a purpose. Like the America of the s, Gatsby loses sight of his original dream and replaces it with an unhealthy obsession—for the country, the pursuit of wealth for its own sake; for Gatsby, a sense of control over Daisy as evidence by both him and Tom in the Plaza Hotel. Gatsby is symbolic of a nation whose great wealth and power has blinded it to more human concerns.

In this sense, Gatsby could be considered more amoral than immoral—morality simply has no meaning for him so long as he makes his dream come true. Everything is simply a means to an end, and Gatsby represents those for whom the end is the only thing that is important. Nick Carraway Nick is the narrator of the novel; the story is told in his voice and through his perceptions. In fact, her desire to move up the social hierarchy leads her to her affair with Tom and she is decidedly pleased with the arrangement.

Because of the misery pervading her life, Myrtle has distanced herself from her moral obligations and has no difficulty cheating on her husband when it means that she gets to lead the lifestyle she wants, if only for a little while. What she doesn't realize, however, is that Tom and his friends will never accept her into their circle. Notice how Tom has a pattern of picking lower-class women to sleep with. For him, their powerlessness makes his own position that much more superior.

In a strange way, being with women who aspire to his class makes him feel better about himself and allows him to perpetuate the illusion that he is a good and important man. Myrtle is no more than a toy to Tom and to those he represents. Fitzgerald has a keen eye and in The Great Gatsby presents a harsh picture of the world he sees around him. The s marked a time of great post-war economic growth, and Fitzgerald captures the frenzy of the society well.

Although, of course, Fitzgerald could have no way of foreseeing the stock market crash of , the world he presents in The Great Gatsby seems clearly to be headed for disaster. They have assumed skewed worldviews, mistakenly believing their survival lies in stratification and reinforcing social boundaries.

They erroneously place their faith in superficial external means such as money and materialism , while neglecting to cultivate the compassion and sensitivity that, in fact, separate humans from the animals. Next In Praise of Comfort: Displaced Spirituality in The Great Gatsby. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.

Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? The Great Gatsby F. Interestingly, while talking to Daisy for the first time in many years, Gatsby is leaning on a defunct clock, which strengthens the idea of the futility of his aspirations and hopes. The symbol of defunct clock vividly shows the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby.

With a number of subtle hints, Fitzgerald reveals how this ideal turned into the everlasting pursuit of materialistic values. Interestingly, money seems to draw people together or tear them apart, depending on circumstances.

A number of tiny details depicting the importance of money and the carelessness in the s society are found in the description of the cocktail parties, expensive evening dresses and jewelry, tremendously ornate houses and new cars. On the one hand, these things are shown as the attributes of an American dream; though, on the other one, Fitzgerald seems to mock the extravagance of the unnecessary things that do not bring real happiness.

Here Daisy and Tom are shown as the vivid examples of the corruptive influence of money and of the destruction it brings upon others. The tough world of money where the rich could do whatever they wanted to do, while the poor had no other choice but to endure is an undeniable opposite to the values that have been hypocritically praised in the s America.

The climax of the story, when Gatsby, originally coming from the lower classes dies for the thing Daisy had done is seen as one more example of the inconsistency of the American dream, and another example of the carelessness of the upper aristocracy. To sum it up, one should say that though Fitzgerald implies a great number of symbols in The Great Gatsby, the true meaning of them is not in the foreground.

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The Great Gatsby essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes — justice, power, greed, betrayal, the American dream, and so on. Of all the themes, perhaps none is more well developed than that of social stratification.

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Free Great Gatsby Essays: The Truly Great Gatsby - The Truly Great Gatsby Is his novel the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates Gatsby as a character who becomes great. He begins life as just an ordinary, lower-class, citizen. Unearthing an Inner Meaning in the Final Lines of The Great Gatsby. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there is a distinct development of emotions and symbols, and one of the key vehicles for illustrating this change is the final line of each chapter.

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Free essays on Great Gatsby available at godliterature.tk, the largest free essay community. Setting is extremely important to The Great Gatsby, as it reinforces the themes and character traits that drive the novel’s critical events. Even the weather matches the flow of the plot. Even the weather matches the flow of the plot.