The Great Gatsby: Moral Corruption
Society tends to have a myriad of unspoken problems that plague its entirety as a whole. With numerous underlying issues that slowly fester from the center of the core to the outside, society constantly attempts to suppress and ignore the genuine problem. One of the ever present obstacles that seemingly will go unattended to is moral decay. Though many people may recognize the issue at hand, it’s become a pattern to let it be as it is, as opposed to fixing it from within. Throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts the decaying of social and moral values through his use of symbolism and characterization.
During the totality of novel, symbolism is used as a vehicle of depravity. Fitzgerald illustrates the decaying ethics and morals upheld by those of the era with a wide variety of unexpected figures. In Chapter 2, Fitzgerald brings Nick and Tom to New York so that Nick can meet Tom’s “girl”. While in New York the three go to Tom’s apartment he’s bought specifically for his affair. “At 158th Street the cab stopped at one slice in a long white cake of apartment houses” (Fitzgerald, 32). The use of the word ‘cake’ places a different emphasis on the apartment and makes the reader analyze it in the form of food. Generally, because a cake has an attractive appearance from the outside with the frosting and decorations, the inside of it is completely different. The apartment building in New York holds up to that symbolism of the literal cake in the sense that from the outside it has a white color, which means morally unblemished, though on inside, it’s overly furnished “so that to move about was to stumble continually…”(Fitzgerald, 33). It becomes apparent with the apartment that everything is for appearance and it all has become a façade. During Chapter 3, the many people at Gatsby’s party all symbolize the decaying social values that are attempted to be sustained in the summer of 1922. With all of the...
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