Immediately after that, Nick tells us that he read a series of finance books in the hopes of making his fortune.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Decline of the American Dream in the s On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a much larger, less romantic scope.
Though all of its action takes place over a mere few months during the summer of and is set in a circumscribed geographical area in the vicinity of Long Island, New York, The Great Gatsby is a highly symbolic meditation on s America as a whole, in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess.
Fitzgerald portrays the s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music—epitomized in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals.
When World War I ended inthe generation of young Americans who had fought the war became intensely disillusioned, as the brutal carnage that they had just faced made the Victorian social morality of early-twentieth-century America seem like stuffy, empty hypocrisy.
The dizzying rise of the stock market in the aftermath of the war led to a sudden, sustained increase in the national wealth and a newfound materialism, as people began to spend and consume at unprecedented levels.
A person from any social background could, potentially, make a fortune, but the American aristocracy—families with old wealth—scorned the newly rich industrialists and speculators. Additionally, the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment inwhich banned the sale of alcohol, created a thriving underworld designed to satisfy the massive demand for bootleg liquor among rich and poor alike.
Fitzgerald positions the characters of The Great Gatsby as emblems of these social trends. Nick and Gatsby, both of whom fought in World War I, exhibit the newfound cosmopolitanism and cynicism that resulted from the war.
East Egg represents the established aristocracy, West Egg the self-made rich.
As Fitzgerald saw it and as Nick explains in Chapter 9the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness.
In the s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast. Additionally, places and objects in The Great Gatsby have meaning only because characters instill them with meaning: Eckleburg best exemplify this idea.
Just as Americans have given America meaning through their dreams for their own lives, Gatsby instills Daisy with a kind of idealized perfection that she neither deserves nor possesses.
Like s Americans in general, fruitlessly seeking a bygone era in which their dreams had value, Gatsby longs to re-create a vanished past—his time in Louisville with Daisy—but is incapable of doing so.
When his dream crumbles, all that is left for Gatsby to do is die; all Nick can do is move back to Minnesota, where American values have not decayed. In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy.
Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste.A summary of Themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Great Gatsby and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The Theme of Wealth and Materialism- The Great Gatsby Posted by Saowani Boonto on Wednesday, August 8th I would like to make a point about how F.
Scott Fitzgerald explores the theme of wealth and materialism throughout the novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald manages to define, praise, and condemn what is known as the American Dream in his most successful novel, The Great arteensevilla.com novel is set in , and it depicts the American.
- The American Dream in F.
Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a brilliant illustration of life among the new rich during the s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of wealth but had no corresponding social connections.
In The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, these controversies that divided the generations of the s included prohibition, and the right to personal freedoms and compares and contrast new money versus old money and modernism versus traditionalism.
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg Published: April 10, , (Charles Scribner's Sons).