Gatsby's American Dream And Illusion Essay

766 words - 4 pages

In the article I have chosen, “Money, Love, and Aspiration in The Great Gatsby,” Roger Lathbury writes with a heavy influence of Marxism. It also hints at new historicism, with parallels of the characters goals and the average American (Then and now) chasing the “American Dream,” another important theme through the article and book. In regard the the monetary terms on which each character relationship is established, Lathbury says, “Gatsby's love for Daisy is an intense and worked out variety of that which lovers of all ages have felt: its expression is distinctively that of postwar America, of a society that consumes.” (p 73.) Throughout the article, love and relationships between characters in the The Great Gatsby are analyzed; what is shown is that a strong foundation for those relationships are based on the each characters wealth and class relativity; this is especially true between Gatsby and Daisy.
During this time in American fiction, there was a recurring theme of characters chasing their dreams, which they could obtain once they earned enough money or status. Each time, goals were just out of reach due to money circumstances or class prejudices set in place. Not only that, but in The Great Gatsby there was a distinction between “old money,” from which people who come from a lineage of wealth were considered “old money,” and “new money,” from which people earned large amounts of money through various business ventures--which may not have always been total legal-- were considered “new money”. Regardless of the sum, the latter form of making money was not as respectable as being born into it. America, being a society that consumes, largely practices pursuing this goal of being so rich that there is never a need to want for anything. Gatsby obtains the wealth and status, but he does so in pursuit of Daisy who has already married into the “proper” class and wealth (“old money” via Tom). This conflict between the two characters are rather binary, which is what ties the article up in the Marxism that lies in the root of the issues in the relationships between the characters, which can be seen between Nick and Jordan, Wilson and Myrtle, Tom and Gatsby, etc.
In Marxist theory, a reader must look at the social and material...

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