January 11, 2013
The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald
With the long history of debate over idealism and materialism in consideration, it would be inappropriate to dictate which one is right or wrong. Between these two doctrines, there is a ‘thing’ that has differentiates one from the other; in other words, this thing completely separates idealism and materialism. Though veiled in mystery, this thing tells us at least that idealism and materialism are inharmonious doctrines. It would be misleading to make a compromise between those two concepts as our distressful world has demonstrated so far. The Great Gatsby reveals what this thing is.
Living at the time of materialistic society, Gatsby was the typical example of idealist in early years of the United States who could not help becoming depraved. The United States were full of material wealth, shadowed by ‘spiritual poverty’; Gatsby was an idealist who possessed an ideal ‘Daisy’ his love, along with his economic success. ‘American Dream’, dream of the Americans at those days, meant harmonized society between idealism and materialism. That was a true utopia having possibility for humans to be greatest happy. But United States turned into industrial society, and ‘American Dream’ inclined into materialistic success rather than the idealistic success. It was a spontaneous change that no man could change.
Writer Fitzgerald’s intention was to criticize the materialistic society of the United States. The exceeding materialism caused the people to lead their lives into an unceasing ‘gambling place’ silencing themselves in reality. However, daisy’s husband tom was a realist, devotee of materialism behaving frivolously and thoughtlessly to survive within the society and to enjoy his fortune. As a result, idealist Gatsby was sacrificed, and tom was debauched morally. Gatsby’s sacrifice clearly demonstrates that each ‘gambling places’ were tinged with materialism and were...