Essay: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is told by Nick Carraway, who was Gatsby’s neighbour. He tells the story sometime after 1922, when the incidents that fill the book take place. The book is about a man, Jay Gatsby, who has orders his life around one thing: to be reunited with his love he lost five years earlier: Daisy Buchanan. His love to Daisy leads him from poverty to wealth. This can be described as the American Dream, the opportunity for prosperity and success achieved through hard work. This is also the main theme of this book which criticized through the writer. In this book is presented an ideal picture of a beautiful house, a nice family and a well-earned job that makes it possible to enjoy life, but also entails a lot of conflicts. So, the subject of my paper is the American Dream. I want to discuss how the American Dream can be related with some characters of this book. And I should finish with a conclusion. But first, I should tell about the 1920’s.
The Great Gatsby is set at the beginning of the 20th century, mainly in the 1920’s. The 1920’s in America, known as the ‘roaring twenties’ was a time after the war, which the economy and people’s confidence was very strong. People in this period can be characterised by optimism. ‘There was a general feeling of discontinuity associated with modernity and a break with traditions. This means that the younger generation no longer believed in the aims for which the war had been fought. They began to spending money which leads to mass production. The film, sport, radio, modern dances became more important. And by the influence of Sigmund Freud, sex became an obsession. This period was also the period of Prohibition. This resulted in widespread smuggling and bootlegging. Gangster leaders became millionaires. So the fortune of Gatsby and his friend, Wolfsheim, symbolize bootlegging. ‘Meyer Wolfshiem is a gambler. He is the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.’ Furthermore, there were also new theories and new ideas that make a break with the old traditions. Because the new technologies, like the film and the radio, makes it possible to spread the idea of modernity to a large part of the population. In The Great Gatsby has Tom that kind of ideas. ‘The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be ‘ will be utterly submerged. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.’ Moreover, the roaring twenties is also characterized by fancy parties what organised by wealthy people, like Gatsby who throws once a week a big party in his giant house. And in this parties is consumed a lot of alcohol. Another characteristic of the 1920’s is the changed role of women. Women bobbed their hair and they smoking and drinking openly. In The Great Gatsby, the writer shows women of all classes in the society. ‘For example, Daisy Buchanan attempts to break away from the restrictive society in which she was raised, but she isn’t able to do and falls back into the only thing she knows: money. Another example is Jordan Baker. She is an emancipated woman. She is a golfer, a profession made possible because of the social and economic progress of the 1920’s. Myrtle, who is the wife of a mechanic, wants to climb the social ladder and so she is able to do so at all costs.’
I want to discuss how the American Dream related with the characters of The Great Gatsby. First I should give a definition of the American Dream. It means as someone starting low on the social ladder, working hard, he or she can become successful in life. The American Dream symbolizes by having money, a big house, a car, nice clothes and a happy family. In the 1920’s became the dreams corrupted for different reasons. ‘The American Dream not only causes corruption but has caused destruction. Gatsby, Daisy and Myrtle have all been corrupted and destroyed by the dream. They all wanted wealth and happiness, their desire causes they become someone they aren’t and this result in a negative outcome. I want to begin with Gatsby. His love to Daisy leads him from poverty to wealth. When he had met Daisy, he was poor and Daisy rich. He wanted to have money so that he can buy everything what Daisy wanted. When he was away fighting in the war, Daisy met Tom Buchanan, who is rich, and married with him. Therefore, he wanted to have money and a big house, a big car, so that Daisy should leave Tom and come to him. Gatsby follows the American Dream, so that he gets money and being a perfect man for Daisy. However, he becomes blinded by his dream to have Daisy, and this causes the dead od Gatsby.

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