However, there are other, more creative approaches to this task. For example, you can analyze the notion of the American dream through symbolism in The Great Gatsby essay, or through carelessness in The Great Gatsby essay, or even through wealth in The Great Gatsby essay. The following sample focuses on all of these subjects and should give you plenty of inspiring ideas to work with.
The Great Gatsby, a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in , nowadays is rightly seen as the classics of the American literature. On the face of it, the plot seems to be a usual story of broken hopes and expectations. However, with a closer look at this novel, one can discern a number of social issues and problems such as inconsistency of the American dream, the destructive power of money and the futility of the upper class.
All of these themes are being subtly revealed by Fitzgerald through a number of symbols, such as lights, colors, everyday habitual objects, time, the personality of the characters and, of course, through a symbol of money. Green has always been associated with hope; however, some imply to it the notion of money being associated with dollars as well.
Perhaps, the most obvious and clear explanation to Gatsby staring at the green light, dreaming of Daisy is the one of his longing for love and making plans for the future. Light, not necessarily green one, but any light, in general, can be considered to have a special meaning in the novel. For instance, Fitzgerald describes a number of colors in clothes and household articles that are to portray the characters according to the symbolic role they play in the narration. Daisy and Jordan, for example, are often depicted in white clothes, which might seem as a symbol of innocence and purity.
Nevertheless, neither Daisy, nor Jordan, are seen as chaste and blameless characters in the novel. Thus, it is possible to suppose that in this novel, white only seems to symbolize chastity, while in fact, it shows false purity and hypocrisy. The bleak grey hues of the valley of ashes symbolically reflect the transition between the West Egg and the East Egg, each of them symbolizing certain notions as well.
West Egg and East Egg both stand for money; East Egg is the place for the rich American aristocracy, while West Egg is the domain of the ones who gained the money during their lives, not inherited them. Thus, the valley of ashes shows something in between, something that belongs neither to this world, nor to that. Doubtless, it is associated with the middle class, with the average population, leading a dull and uninteresting life, left out of the entertainments and sparkling luxury of the Jazz Era.
Grey is the color of mediocrity, and so, by depicting the valley where common people live and toil in grey colors, Fitzgerald emphasizes the idea of a contemptuous attitude of the upper class to the lower one. A previously described contrast of the upper and lower classes is not the only one in The Great Gatsby.
West Egg and East Egg, situated opposite each other, show the gap between the American aristocracy and newly rich entrepreneurs. However, by drawing a special attention to the similar shape and size of the islands, Fitzgerald seems to emphasize the idea, that in fact, the difference can hardly be seen from a distance.
Another important symbol is the symbol of time. Interestingly, while talking to Daisy for the first time in many years, Gatsby is leaning on a defunct clock, which strengthens the idea of the futility of his aspirations and hopes. The symbol of defunct clock vividly shows the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby. With a number of subtle hints, Fitzgerald reveals how this ideal turned into the everlasting pursuit of materialistic values.
Interestingly, money seems to draw people together or tear them apart, depending on circumstances. A number of tiny details depicting the importance of money and the carelessness in the s society are found in the description of the cocktail parties, expensive evening dresses and jewelry, tremendously ornate houses and new cars.
On the one hand, these things are shown as the attributes of an American dream; though, on the other one, Fitzgerald seems to mock the extravagance of the unnecessary things that do not bring real happiness. Here Daisy and Tom are shown as the vivid examples of the corruptive influence of money and of the destruction it brings upon others.
The tough world of money where the rich could do whatever they wanted to do, while the poor had no other choice but to endure is an undeniable opposite to the values that have been hypocritically praised in the s America.
He is self-made, a man who literally invents or reinvents himself. Like a young Benjamin Franklin, he maps out his resolves for future success and never wavers from his teenage conception of self. A seventeen-year-old James Gatz invents Jay Gatsby, and it is to this vision that he remains true.
Ultimately, it is this vision that betrays him. Gatsby represents the world of the ostentatious newly rich; however, he remains a romantic idealist. He is a paradox: Nick Carraway, the narrator, is an idealistic midwestern salesman of stocks and bonds, trying to make a go of it on Wall Street.
The entire story is filtered through Nick and his vision of Gatsby. It is significant that Fitzgerald chooses to write The Great Gatsby in the past tense; indeed, the story is relayed entirely through memory, which is, of course, selective. The lines between truth and fiction are blurred, and, essentially, the reader must become a participant within the text; he or she must separate the lies from the truth in order to glean the true meaning.
Illusion versus reality is a central theme throughout the novel. It is the past that Gatsby struggles to reinvent and reclaim. He fails to realize that the past is gone. In the end, it is this romantic idealism that destroys Gatsby; he refuses to relinquish the illusion that has propelled his life.
Critical Essays Social Stratification: The Great Gatsby as Social Commentary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes — justice, power, greed, betrayal, the American dream, and so on.
The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s indictment of the American Dream. For Nick, Gatsby’s death represents the debasement of the dream. For Nick, Gatsby’s death represents the debasement of the dream.
The Great Gatsby essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis . The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous work and it is considered to be his best. He provides a powerful, disturbing insight into the American society in the ’s in particular those who became rich, achieving the American dream.
Another example is when at Gatsby's party, music by Mr. Vladimir Tostoff was going to play, and it had:attracted so much attention at Carnegie Hall," which is an allusion to a great event because it is a huge concert hall. Whilst The Great Gatsby explores a number of themes, none is more prevalent than that of the corruption of the American dream. The American dream is the concept that, in America, any person can be.