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"The Great Gatsby", F. Scott Fitzgerald Critism Of American Society.

1410 words - 6 pages

"The Great Gatsby is a severe indictment of the value system of a particular segment of American society in the twenties."With close reference to the novel, examine the major issues that F. Fitzgerald explores and faults he exposes.----------On the surface, "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic love story but the theme, is in fact a harsh criticism on the American society in the 1920s. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the disintegration of the American Dream, through decayed moral and social values, materialism, careless gaiety, hollowness and social discrimination that existed in those times.Fitzgerald explores the fall of the American Dream in a corrupt era of decayed social and moral values. The main idea of the American Dream was that everyone, no matter who you were, could become successful through hard work and perseverance. But this dream was corrupted as the great economic boom came into turn. People received higher wages, spending in enormous amounts, drawn by unnecessary appliances that advertisements stated they could not live without. In the novel, Tom and Daisy possess many material items such as an enormous house, a car and polo ponies, but still they remain miserable. Gatsby also possesses many material items and is still unhappy. This shows that people gain material wealth but remain spiritually bankrupt. Gatsby's dream (symbolizing the American Dream) is doomed to fall from the beginning by the fact that his ideal was Daisy and that it was her wealth and social status that drew him to her in the first place. Gatsby sees perfection in Daisy, whereas the reader can clearly see that she is far from it and is only consumed by the materialistic values of her social class (as was society in the 20s). "Her voice is full of money." Fitzgerald has used Daisy to portray the attitudes of the era, possessing shallow values and worshipping nothing but money. In chapter 6, Daisy comments that she likes the moving-picture actress - "I like her," said Daisy, "I think she's lovely." Daisy likes the actress because she has no substance and that is why she relates to her.The American dream was destroyed as society had an increasingly unrestrained want for money and pleasure, even resorting to immoral ways of earning money. Fitzgerald reveals the corruption present in American society making specific reference to the 1919 World Series."Fixed the World's Series?" I repeated.The idea staggered me..."How did he happen to do that?" I asked after a minute."He just saw the opportunity.""Why isn't he in jail?""They can't get him, old sport. He's a smart man."Commenting on the corrupting, Fitzgerald also questions why it cannot be prevented. He understands that money enables people to go as they please - "...one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people..." This introduction of Wolfshiem increases the reader's (and Nick's) doubts regarding Gatsby's virtue, being associated with this criminal. "Four of them were electrocuted"... 'Five...

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