The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald there are several major themes that reflect the experiences of all Americans and relate to them personally in some way, shape, or form. In the Great Gatsby these themes relate to all Americans because everyone struggles to obtain the American Dream. However, in the Great Gatsby, most Americans are unsuccessful in their struggle to obtain the American dream and the American dream disintegrates as the novel progresses. The Second theme present in The Great Gatsby is the upper class’ hollow attitude and behavior towards the middle and lower class Americans.
The Great Gatsby is symbolic of America and its people as a whole in the 1920s. During the 1920s America was undergoing a shift from the gilded age to the progressive era. Fitzgerald’s symbolism in the novel thoroughly describes and portrays the disintegration of the American dream during the era of material excess. The characters in the Great Gatsby possess an empty pursuit of pleasure. The reckless exultance that led to large, elegant parties, similar to the ostentatious parties Jay Gatsby threw every Saturday night, resulted in the further corruption and disintegration of the American dream because of the limitless desire for money and pleasure took higher precedence over patrician goals.
The characters in the Great Gatsby are used as representations of the new corrupt social trends of the American 1920s. An example of Fitzgerald’s positioning of the characters as representations are the various party guests that would attend Jay Gatsby’s lavish parties. “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited-they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island, and somehow they ended up at Gatsby's door. Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby, and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission (Fitzgerald 43).” “I was immediately struck by the number of young Englishmen dotted about; all well dressed, all looking a little hungry, and all talking in low, earnest voices to solid and prosperous Americans. I was sure that they were selling something: bonds or insurance or automobiles. They were at least agonizingly aware of the easy money in the vicinity and convinced that it was theirs for a few words in the right key (Fitzgerald 44).” The party guests symbolize and are evidence of the greedy scramble for wealth, prosperity, and social acceptance into the American upper class.
Nick Carraway explains that the American Dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness however, the shift from the gilded age to the progressive era, with easy money and severely relaxed social values, the...