The Great Gatsby And F. Scott Fitzgerald's Contribution To American Culture/Values

1492 words - 6 pages

Imagine a well written tale infused with philosophical ideas and you have F. Scott Fitzgerald's work, "The Great Gatsby". The ancient Greeks drew upon the epics "Homer" and the "Iliad" to emphasize certain moral attributes and ideas. Fitzgerald brings to us, in the same spirit as Homer, a story that leaves a lasting impression on society. American tradition, culture, and values are the underlying objects of analysis in this novel. Fitzgerald's focus on American life in the 1920s brings forth a critique of the "American Dream" as described by Nick Carraway, morals, and society itself. "The Great Gatsby" is a contribution to the American understanding of right and wrong and goals. Fitzgerald gives a truly inventive and interesting foundation on which to view American culture. In describing the effects of "The Great Gatsby" we shall take a look a brief look at the plot and themes and apply them to the contributions that Fitzgerald has given our society."The Great Gatsby" is about the lavish expenditures and lifestyles of the rich during the 1920s. Its plot involves Jay Gatsby's dream of Daisy and his desperate means of garnering her love, which is not worthy of Gatsby's affection. It is in the illegal activities and parties that Gatsby uses to attract Daisy's attention that a story develops. Nick Carraway, a quiet and mostly objective observer, describes to us the story of Jay Gatsby. He presents to us in sad tone of what American society can become and the vital principles it can lose through Gatsby. This is Fitzgerald's most important contribution to our culture. The American Dream of happiness and individualism is shattered by greed and the loss of virtue amongst the people ("The Great Gatsby", Phillips).Through Fitzgerald's story, the culture of the 1920s can be looked upon and be forever remembered. This novel establishes what our society was like in a period of excess and hedonism. We see the life of the mindless search for fulfillment as society becomes suddenly wealthy. Fitzgerald impacts the age old American values of integrity, self-discovery, individualism, happiness, and morality by weaving the image of a decrepit society and its harm to the basis of American traditions. The life of bootlegging alcohol, flashy excessive attire, indulgent jazz, and parties was a symbol of the loss of American culture itself. Fitzgerald wanted to let society know that with newfound pleasure and wealth responsibility (what we can call American traditions) is necessary. By seeing this objectively, we see a piece of our fast paced culture of freedom and capitalism under an eye of scrutiny. Even in its outward decadence, the loss of value in hard work, passion, and a love for that which is good marked the 1920s and is shown through "The Great Gatsby."Fitzgerald establishes the nature of American traditions and its importance in a culture. Jay Gatsby's "American Dream" shows us a tradition of never giving up and striving for what we want. Jay Gatsby's life is...

Find Another Essay On The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Contribution to American Culture/Values

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1309 words - 6 pages The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers. Fitzgerald uses the Roaring Twenties as the setting of this novel. The twenties were a time of promiscuity, new money, and a significant amount of illegal alcohol. Fitzgerald was a master of his craft and there was often more to the story than just the basic plot. He could intertwine political messages and a gripping story flawlessly. In the case of The

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1481 words - 6 pages behaviors. Their actions and presence is the eye of the hurricane as every event revolves around them. Despite the difference in settings in Fitzgerald’s 1920’s and Faulkner’s 1930’s, Daisy and Lena embody their decades. First, the “Roaring Twenties” was an era of modernization and portrayed the “… finest values of the Western culture, the American Dream” (9), yet Gatsby, specifically, demonstrates how the “American Dream” has, in fact, lost the

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

994 words - 4 pages Wealth, Love, and the American Dream      It has been said that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the pursuit of the American dream. It has also been said that the novel is about love, ambition, and obsession. Perhaps both are true. Combined, these themes may be understood in their most basic forms among the relationships within the novel. After all, each character’s reason for belonging to a relationship

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1930 words - 8 pages Raisberys Lima April 17, 2014 HU 330 The Great Gatsby The year is 1929 in the beautiful city of New York. Nick Carraway, the main character, is seen in what appears to be in a therapeutic office with his doctor, who suggest for Carraway to write about what has been the cause of his depression and alcoholism; persuaded Carraway backtracks to a few years back and begins to write what started it all. Seven years back, 1922 to be specific, it’s

Money and Corruption in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

2579 words - 10 pages Money and Corruption in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby During the time in our country's history called the roaring twenties, society had a new obsession, money. Just shortly after the great depression, people's focus now fell on wealth and success in the economic realm. Many Americans would stop at nothing to become rich and money was the new factor in separation of classes within

Sandra Cisneros vs. F. Scott Fitzgerald's American Dreams as shown through "The House on Mango Street" and "The Great Gatsby"

667 words - 3 pages Sandra Cisneros' version of the American Dream can be defined through the lives of the characters in "The House on Mango Street". Using several vignettes throughout the book, Esperanza, the narrator, reveals Cisneros' interpretation of the ideal American life. This American Dream can be compared and contrasted to the one presented by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel, "The Great Gatsby".One part of Cisneros' American Dream is the desire to have a

The American Dream as depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

591 words - 2 pages The subject of numerous modern stories and especially modern tragedies such as Death ofa Salesman and The Great Gatsby is that of the American Dream. The American Dream issummed up as "an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially materialprosperity." F. Scott Fitzgerald's tale, The Great Gatsby is a picture perfect account ofattempting to (and sometimes achieving) the American Dream.Beginning with the title character, it

The Unattainable American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

1392 words - 6 pages A truly great work of literature would allow a reader to compare and/or contrast any of the book's characters--static or rounded--without much trouble. This is the case in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book's title character, Gatsby, is easily compared to Tom Buchanan. Their fruitless pursuance of the American Dream is what makes them most similar. The American Dream consists of having a large, elegant house, a family, a well

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as Criticism of American Society

1787 words - 7 pages     In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald criticizes American society in the 1920?s for its tendencies to waste, advertise, form superficial relationships, and obsess over appearances. The work has been praised for both its brutal realism and its keen depiction of the age that The New York Times referred to as the era when, 'gin was the national drink and sex was the national obsession'(Fitzgerald vii).  ' . . . indifference is presented as

The Characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

2085 words - 8 pages The Characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby        In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main characters Tom and Gatsby are both similar and different in their attitudes and their status. Both Tom and Gatsby have attained great wealth and live in very lavish conditions. They differ greatly, on the other hand, in the way that they acquired this wealth, and the way in which they treat other people. Even though

A Stylistic Study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

2375 words - 10 pages Abstract: The Great Gatsby, one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpieces, is viewed as the first step thatAmerican fiction has taken since Henry James. The paper attempts to study and unveil its writing skills and fivemajor elements of this great novel from a stylistic perspective for better understanding and appreciation of itsconsummate artistry.Key words: writing skills; stylistic elements; artistry1. IntroductionF. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940

Similar Essays

The American Dream In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1145 words - 5 pages 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 1920s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of wealth but had no corresponding social connections. The novel is an intriguing account about love, money and life during the 1920s in New York. It illustrates the society and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 1836 Words

1836 words - 8 pages that is evident today throughout the book. He also examines the interactions between social classes and the supposed noblesse oblige of the upper class. The idea of the American dream and the prevalence of materialism are also scrutinized. All of these social issues spoken about in The Great Gatsby are relevant in modern society. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses this novel as an indictment of a corrupt American culture that is still present today. First

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 1668 Words

1668 words - 7 pages Peter Thewissen Mr. Gilbert English III 19 April 2014 Title In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald discusses many themes of the 1920s, with a specific focus on the rich and idle class, the “old money,” those whose wealth allows them to be careless and destructive without consequences. In the novel, this group of people is characterized by Tom and Daisy- a couple who moves leisurely through life, destroying

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 1787 Words

1787 words - 8 pages Years That Changed America. New York: Arcade Pub., 1996. Print. Dorn, Rick, Susan K. Freeman, and Pamela Pennock. "Clash of Cultures." Clash of Cultures. Knight Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 May 2014. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 2004. Print. Kennedy, M. David, Thomas Bailey, and Lizabeth Cohen. "Chapter 30/ The War to End War and Chapter 31/ American Life in the "Roaring Twenties"" The American Pageant. Boston