The Great Gatsby Essay

2888 words - 12 pages

"I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light"
Possibly F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby is not just a magnificent story, but a lesson of society's flaws during the roaring 1920's. Fitzgerald's story creates an atmosphere of superficiality, dissatisfaction and dishonesty by the description of each character. With the economical growth, and the immoral society of the 1920’s ultimately brought corruption to desire of the American Dream and the chance of achieving prosperity and wealth.
At the end of the first chapter, the green light at the end of the dock is introduced, the symbol for hope and a promising future for Gatsby. In the second chapter however, the lector is presented with the, "... valley of ashes... where ashes take the form of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally... of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air”. The valley of ashes is represented as the superficial and materialistic world that the characters live in. The author's great use of imagination and description helps accentuate the setting and the crumbling and corrupt foundation of society.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, Gatsby is labeled as "new money". Having come from poverty, and building his fortune early in life, Gatsby almost accomplished all the aspects of the American Dream with hard work, and determination but comes short by not being able to have the only thing that he was working for. Money was the critical reagent to Gatsby's corruption that it is revealed when he describes Daisy. "Her voice is full of money”. Often identified as a symbol of wealth and desire, Daisy was Gatsby's main and only goal. Gatsby had an enormous need to impress Daisy with his wealth; his corrupt mind could only offer what he had acquired all these years, money.

The 1920’s were a time of great spending and with the massive amounts of money in circulation, corruption, scandals, and dishonesty money flowed with simplicity. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the Cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known”. Nick Carraway's honest comment reflects the high amount of dishonesty of the "Roaring 1920’s." Because Nick came from the Midwest and moved to New York, his affirmation of knowing few honest people proves that during the 1920's corruption was a major problem that propagated to all America.
Murders, affairs, corruption and neglection of the law is present in Fitzgerald's story and in the United States during the roaring twenties, confirm the diversion of the American Dream and significance that money brings to fulfilling satisfaction. Gatsby's insatiable thirst of winning Daisy was impulsed with monetary motivation. In the end, Fitzgerald's main purpose of writing The Great Gatsby was to show how the American Dream became corrupted and despicable in the 1920s and striped away the ambition and left with the desire of satisfaction. ...

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