Great Gatsby Essay

908 words - 4 pages

Critical Analysis The glistening world of the elite of the Roaring Twenties concealed the corruption that festered at the heart of the age. The only one within the "circle" that remained untainted was Gatsby. Gatsby had drive and ambition, characteristics that were unpalliatable and foreign to the tongue of the society that he was desperately trying to blend with. He masked this "flaw" by throwing extravagant parties, by talking with obvious correctness, and buying the most expensive, gaudy clothes. Unfortuanately for him, he would never fit in. Oddly enough, it was those very characteristics that attracted Nick to Gatsby. At this time in history the American Dream idealism was very big, and it would seem as though Fitzgerald was trying to compare the American dreamer with the old-money society. Showing what could happen with hard work and drive, we have Gatsby. A man who can from nothing, out of nowhere, who worked hard and prospered. This was the central idea for the whole movement. Then Fitzgerald does something surprising, he takes this golden dream and sours it. We are shown the downside, and foreshadowing downfall of the ill-fated dreamers. It is American tradition to celebrate the highly successful businessmen, thrusting the most outstanding on pedastals of gold, but Fiztgerald shines the light on the corruption of the 1920's society. He doesn't do it only once, but twice, to reinforce the point, so we will pick it up. Dan Cody is "a product of the Nevada siver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush of metal since seventy-five."(105) Now to be a successful miner you have to physically work hard, Dan Cody did and he prospered, he became a millionaire. Then he dies, alone, intoxicated, and betrayed, the fate of a dreamer. He wasn't remembered, he was good as long as he had his money, then he was forgotten. Society's misuse of the dreamer is evident here, but at a smaller, less important scale, it is used as a foreshadow, predicting the death of Gatsby in a likewise manor because of the two stories coincedences. We are to take Dan Cody's life and follow the pattern all the way through Gatsby's. Gatsby starts out in a small town in Minnesota, yet he dreams of becoming something bigger and greater, he works hard and essentially achieves his goals. He befriends someone who is less rich than himself, like Dan Cody did with him. He is used by the society for his money, but always remains on the...

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