Great Gatsby

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 63
  • Published : April 11, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
The dominating theme in The Great Gatsby is the corruption of the American Dream. To portray this corruption, Fitzgerald’s analyzes the high society in the 1920s through Nick Carraway’s eyes. The characters equate the American Dream with security, when in reality it stands as a complex system of materialistic power. This dream is based on ideas of self-reliance, freedom, and the desire for a greater life. Through the lives of the Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby, Fitzgerald displays how money influences the American Dream. This leads to disillusionment and unhappiness. The ethic of hard work can be found in the life of young James Gatz, who focuses on becoming a great man, is carefully documented in his “Hopalong Cassidy” journal. When Mr. Gatz shows Nick this tattered book, he declares, “Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always has some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that”(182). The journal represents the continuous struggle for self-improvement that has defined America as a land of opportunity. Not only does Mr. Gatz agree that Gatsby would have gone great places in his life, but so does Meyer Wolfshiem. Wolfshiem states, “I raised him up out of nothing, right out of the gutter. I saw right away he was a fine appearing gentlemanly young man and when he told me he was an Oggsford I knew I could use him good”(171). Even when Gatsby gets to the top, people like Tom, old money, look down upon him. His experiences prove that it’s not only a difficult goal to reach, but also an impossible dream to achieve. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning---”(180). Gatsby spent his life chasing after this “green light”, Gatsby’s American dream, just to realize the days live on, the world continues, and we will always be chasing these...
tracking img