What Is Wasted in “the Great Gatsby”? in What Sense Gatsby’s a Waste.

Topics: The Great Gatsby, Roaring Twenties, F. Scott Fitzgerald Pages: 2 (673 words) Published: February 27, 2012
What is wasted in “The Great Gatsby”?
In what sense Gatsby’s a waste.

The Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” is a chronicle of its times. Times of prohibition, bootleggers and economical prosperity, but also the times of people still recalling the World War I, those who try to forget its horror and compensate all the harms suffered, with the life full of luxury. The period of 1920s, so called Roaring Twenties, is the time when the United States experienced cultural revolution. The lifestyle changed and the old values, such as morality disappeared, replaced by money and corruption. As the one who lived in that era, F. S. Fitzgerald became a strong critic of his contemporary’s lifestyles. One of the major themes of the novel is the criticism of the society for its trend to waste everything. Americans living in Roaring Twenties used what they want and when they want. In the novel we are accustomed with the parties organized by Jay Gatsby. Parties full of fruits, cocktails and sophisticated dishes. As Nick describes “Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York—every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves.” (p. 43). It is the image of American society in 1920s, people who use things in excess, just to entertain themselves, and after all discard the remains wasted, everywhere without hesitating. The most noticeable symbol of wasteful nature of the 1920s’s society is situated between New York City and West Egg. It is “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (p. 27), called the Valley of Ashes. It is the landfill where the garbage of West Egg and New York is transported and burnt. The whole area is covered with the ash,...
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