In this extract from the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the corruption and decay of the society is highlighted by the uses of various elements such as conflict, setting, characterisation and imagery. In first person, Nick shows his conflicting thoughts of what he thinks of the party. He feels the party and the people there are vulgar, yet appealing. This contradicts the way in which introduces himself – a non-judgemental who in most cases looks over the situation. The setting of the extract is of Myrtle’s and Tom’s apartment in New York and a flashback of Myrtle’s first encounter with Tom. Fizgerald used colour images to enhance his messages on the corruption of the 1920’s American society, both upper and lower classes. The people live meaningless lives of pleasure and only for the moment, which the author criticizes deeply. One of the settings of this extract is in Tom’s New York apartment which was bought to accommodate myrtle and his affair. New York is a busy city and represents the recklessness of the pursuit of pleasure of the Americans trying to live the ‘American Dream’. The people at the party are just as ‘corrupt’ as Tom as they do not criticize his immoral actions, but rather enjoy the disloyalties portrayed by Tom and Myrtle to their spouses. The setting changes in time, to Myrtle’s flashback to her first encounter with Tom – which she thinks of as the most wonderful day of her barren, prosperous life. The fact that she thinks this shows her questionable moral values and hints her desperation to climb the social hierarchy. The fact that she was “going up to New York to see her sister” shows that she was ambitious to get away from her poor reality and live the American dream. In the train, Myrtle “couldn’t keep” her “eyes off him” mainly because of how he dressed – the complete opposite to her husband, Wilson. Fitzgerald’s intention is that many individuals of 1920’s wanted to seek a better life, trying to run from...
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