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Romanticism In The Masterpiece Of The Great Gatsby English Essay

2282 words - 10 pages

Romanticism in the Masterpiece The Great Gatsby
Romanticism. For most, the word likely conjures images of swooning couples, undying love, or the latest romantic comedy. However, the truth is that the ideas of Romanticism are a lot more complex and deep than that. Romanticism was actually a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe in the early 18th century. It celebrated emotions and individualism and resulted in timeless classics such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The European movement would grow to influence the work of American authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald generations later. Fitzgerald lived in the flamboyant 1920’s era that emerged after World War I and he managed to capture the vivacity of the times in his writing. His most popular novel, The Great Gatsby is considered to be one of the greatest American works of literature ever written and served as the inspiration for numerous film adaptations. It’s been passed through the generations and yet still remains adored and relative. F. Scott Fitzgerald succeeded in developing The Great Gatsby into a masterpiece through the creation of Jay Gatsby as a Romantic hero, the use of Romantic rhetoric, and the application of fundamental ideals of Romanticism.
For starters, the novel’s titular character Jay Gatsby is the manifestation of a Romantic hero. Fitzgerald wrote, “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself” (Fitzgerald 104). Romantic heroes like Gatsby reject authority in all of its numerous forms, ranging from social code to moral conditioning. He refuses to conform to the social expectations that accompany the class he was born into. Despite being the son of unsuccessful farmers, he owns a towering mansion that rents for “twelve or fifteen thousand a season.” According to Forbes Magazine, Gatsby’s home is ranked as one of the most expensive fictional houses with an estimated value of 42.5 million dollars. With a marble swimming pool and 40 acres of lawn and garden, Gatsby’s house is a colossal show of his achievements. Additionally, he has connections to wealthy and prestigious people. During a drive to lunch with Nick Carraway, he’s able to avoid trouble for speeding since he’s friendly with the commissioner. His parties draw in dozens of actors, businessmen, and East eggers every weekend and his business association with Meyer Wolfsheim reveals that he even has connections within the seedy underworld of organized crime. Moreover, Jay Gatsby refuses to allow morals to get in the way of his obsessive pursuit of Daisy, his “golden girl”. He entered a relationship with her, despite knowing that he was hiding the fact he wasn’t in the same social strata as her. Even though he was penniless and low class, he never considered himself an unfit match. He still always held on to the belief that she was meant for him. Even five years later, he still pursues Daisy when...

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