|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald|
Subtly, Scott Fitzgerald positions himself as nick, the narrator and presents a world with two distinct sides, the East Egg and the West Egg. Within these two different regions is a transitioning represented by the ash valley, a presentation of part of the West Egg, and part of the East Egg. As a moral and intellectual character in the plot, Nick can view both societies with a less judgmental attitude but a more discerning spirit. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone ...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had" (Fitzgerald 1). The social status of the individuals at both ends of the regions tells so much about the society, with some of them utilizing their power to oppress other (tom mistreating Wilson, and going out with his wife). To others, it is their source of motivation and the main idea behind their dreams (Gatsby realizes his dreams after having a humble beginning, obtaining his motivation in wealth, and working his way through to his affluent position). Love is yet another motivation whose only achievement lies in wealth in the first place. The American dream is presented in the green light motif that Gatsby so desperately tries to reach to, and his death after getting past the green light shades a light, literary at the overly-stated and possible failure of the achievability of the dream in its entirety.
From the title of the novel, Gatsby is a man well painted by his "greatness." This great attribute of his can be maneuvered from different angles, one being his humility, or simply down to earth attitude, as seen with his solitude from the party-animals and his simple self despite his social status and wealth. Starting as a part-time school genitor (a job he assumes so that he can be able to cater for his tuition fee) his current position, and transformation of social status and name, he formerly was James Gatz, his quest for wealth and self-realization stands out. The notion 'fake it till you make it" corresponds with that of "the end justifies the means." Gatsby engages in illegal business and drugs to get to his position of admiration. His love for wealth makes shim love daisy, a woman who in her youth deserved the title wealthy, and his pursuit to get to win her over leads to his tragic end. Nick Carraway is the central character of the novel, a cousin to daisy and a neighbor to Gatsby. He is the perfect observer of this futile love affair and the sound mind amongst the confusion and irrationality. The values bestowed within his from Minnesota encounter rapid distortion when he interacts with the West Eggers as he is even comfortable with setting his married cousin up with Gatsby, an adulterous act at its core.
An individual quest for meaning
The entire novel revolves around Gatsby, and this alone is enough reason to focus most of the discussions on him. Originating from North Dakota, in an impoverished childhood, his social status presented him with a challenge, and he could do whatever it takes to see his situation changed. He worked as a school genitor and as a fisherman, and when fate finally had it for him, he transformed from being James Gatz to a "Platonic conception of himself." "So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end" (Fitzgerald 51). His quest for love and a companion made him go to every length to be with daisy, as he even built a home near her so that he could be close to her every single day of his life. He convinces Nick to go against the virtues he lived for, and organize a meeting between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Even with his dramatic transformation, he still carries part of his old self with him through his habit of calling people "old sport," a phrase that no one in the present could associate with. It is a sign of his failure in fully realizing his dreams after daisy denied him and he later died lonely but hopeful.
An ideal society has two major social classes the haves and have-nots. The transformation that Gatsby undergoes is a result of a desire for a high social class, a luxurious life, and an affluent lifestyle. He engages in illegal business and drug deal to get to where he is. The difference in social status seems like an essential aspect of the lives of people. While erecting the building, the contractors for Gatsby plead with the neighboring residents to build up hatches to automatically make the house stand out. Tom and Daisy also belong to the high class in society, a trait that makes Gatsby attracted to daisy. George band, Myrtle Wilson, is low-class citizens, and are prone to exploitation. Tom intimidates Wilson and goes out with his wife, and towards the end, daisy knocks off myrtle with a car, and she dies, but because they are powerful, the issues die like the victim.
The role of women in society
"I hope she'll be a fool-that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" (Fitzgerald 9). While not anything like the description given, daisy depicts a social environment that appreciates the docility and subservience of women, rather than bold and autonomous ones. Women are also presented as disloyal beings, going by the fact that Daisy had promised Gatsby to wait for him after he left for a military mission, only to get married to tom shortly after. Myrtle also cheats on her poor husband with the wealthy tom. Lastly, many view women as prizes to be won. Gatsby in his quest for wealth makes daisy part of the indicators for the success or failure of it. After he achieves material prosperity, he then advances towards daisy, and when he cannot win her over, he despairs and dies unsatisfied.
In a socially diverse setting, Fitzgerald presents his characters, themes and motifs to bring out the reality of the American life, and the invalidity of the American dream. The difference in social classes presents a form of discrimination to the lowly in society, the zeal for Americans to fully realize the American dream reveals their willingness to transform their morals and identity just so to get there. Women once more, are in the spotlight as weak beings, and the society's mat to wipe their feet on.
Fitzgerald Scott F. The Great Gatsby. 1925. Pp. 1-99
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