Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism of the North american Dream

  • Charlette Montague

Rather than an anxious celebrant, Fitzgerald is a harsh critic of "the American desire" in his novel, The Great Gatsby.

It is the North american dream, and the thought of it that pushes the heroes, more so, Jay Gatsby, the entitled personality and protagonist. Jay Gatsby is symbolic of the American dream and its own problem. Jay Gatsby is seen as innocent, positive and hopeful. He was born poor, and therefore despised it. He yearned for the North american dream and what it symbolized. It could be said then, that he treasured Daisy, not for who she was, but what she displayed in his eye. He fell deeply in love with Daisy's life. He was fascinated with her world, her lifestyle, her elegance and her allure, "It thrilled him, too, that many men got already liked Daisy--it increased her value in his sight. " (Chapter 8)

The renewable light on Daisy's dock can be used for example for his longing, as he spends time gazing at it "a single green light, minute and faraway, that may have been the finish of a dock. " (Section 1, Webpage 22). The renewable light is symbolic of Gatsby's longing for the American wish, the color may possibly also represent dollar bills, capital, which is another appealing aspect of the American aspiration.

'"Her words is filled with money, " he said all of the sudden.

That was it. I'd never recognized before. It was filled with money - that was the inexhaustible allure that rose and dropped in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it. . . high in a white palace the king's girl, the golden young lady. (Webpage 120, Section7)'

It is within Daisy's character that we see what travelled wrong with the North american dream, its problem, as they say. In Gatsby's mind, Daisy sometimes appears as excellence, but though she is graceful and alluring, she is also, selfish, hurtful and shallow, this sometimes appears in the book by her laying, cheating, and giving Gatsby to adopt the blame on her behalf murdering Tom's mistress. In a way, Gatsby's search for the American goal is ill-fated, as his devotion for Daisy is misguided as she cannot fulfill the role and expectations placed upon her by him.

Another symbol found in the novel to stand for the disintegration of the American fantasy is the "Valley of Ashes". That is symbolic as it represents the lost expectations and the moral and social decay of the time. This results from the pursuit of wealth, the American wish. Whereas at one time the American aspiration was simultaneous with various ideals of liberty, the book shows how it became equated with material items. Jay Gatsby presents this change perfectly as he flaunts the items he has so that they can "get" Daisy over. The writer shows us the hollowness of the upper-class through the representation of 'old money' versus 'new money'

Motifs are another device used by the author to build up the theme throughout the novel. This brings us to the use of geography as a motif. The author uses places to symbolize various aspects of the time. East Egg represents 'old money', Western world Egg new money while The Valley of Ashes symbolizes the fall of the morality of the American dream and population. The new wealthy is portrayed by the author as lacking is interpersonal graces, pretentious and bottom part, Gatsby is a perfect example as he lives in a monstrosity of a mansion, drives a rolls Royce and wears a red suit. in contrast the old aristocracy is seen as elegant, tasteful, have subtlety. Gatsby is the epitome of nov the moral worth of society even as we the readers see where he's involved in criminality, which makes up about his vast fortune. But even has elegant as the old aristocrats are; symbolized by the Buchanan's, they lack in compassion as they confirm themselves to be always a careless bunch of inconsiderate individuals. This is seen to be true where after Gatsby's fatality they (Tom and Daisy) simple proceed to an unknown vacation spot without forwarding address. Nick identifies them as 'careless' people.

"These were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and animals and then retreated back into their money of these vast carelessness, or whatever it was that maintained them jointly and let other folks tidy up the mess that they had made. "

(Chapter. 9)

Though Gatsby is seen as a legal and therefore represents the perfect of an self-made man, from rags to riches. He's the make that corrodes the North american wish, it is through him that people see the tough reality of the wish, its rise and its end. It is with his death that we start to see the death of the American Desire. All his expectations shattered with a bullet. The death of both him and George, the wealthy man and the poor man, show again nov the American aspiration. With nothing kept for him there, Nick moves back again to his home, from the emptiness and the moral decay.

To conclude, The Great Gatsby is a representation of the tough fact of the American wish. It shows its problem and its fall. Each of the character types in the novel are seen hoping to attain delight through one of many ways or the other. They become lost, and lose their touch with morality and truth. Criminality, infidelity, murder and lies pervade the story. The theme of the corruption of the North american goal was seen throughout the book and was exemplified by the author's use of characterization, motifs and icons. The American dream is of freedom and of public upwards mobility through hard work and success. Gatsby's life in criminality provided him money however, not freedom rather than joy. His goal of attaining the American fantasy was never came to the realization.

The Great Gatsby - Response Paper


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