Gatsby’s World Is Corrupt but Ultimately Glamorous’

Topics: Wealth, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Corruption Pages: 5 (1844 words) Published: May 6, 2011
In the novel, Gatsby is living in a dream based around the famous American dream. His world is rather glamorous however to have reached this glamour Gatsby would have had to be corrupt. Gatsby is living in a world of magic and illusion in which everything has to be to his perfection and he clearly knows what he wants, who he wants and where he wants to be. Yet because of his dreams this is only illusion and the reality is not what it seems. Gatsby achieved his high goal of the American Dream by participating in organised crime. Gatsby obviously was corrupt to achieve his mansion and to hold all of these parties. Because of Gatsby’s corruption, he appears surrounded by a world of luxurious possessions and wealth. Any reader’s first instinct of Gatsby would be that he is an exceptionally wealthy person whom must have worked extremely hard to afford all of the lavish things: ‘...on weekends his Rolls Royce... enormous garden... servants...’ These all suggest Gatsby’s glamorous world. The fact that Gatsby is the host of these many parties can suggest at first that he is a materialistic person who wants to boast his glamour to get his dream of Daisy. After Gatsby’s death in chapter 9, Nick receives a mysterious phone call from one of Gatsby’s puzzling friends: Mr Slagle. Gatsby and Wolfsheim had got themselves into so much trouble that he doesn’t want any connection to Gatsby after his death. Wolfsheim does not go to Gatsby’s funeral in which implies how corrupt Gatsby’s world actually was. The reader would only realise how hidden his corrupt world was after his death; ‘there was a long silence on the other end of the wire followed by an exclamation... then a quick squawk as the connection was broken.’ This implies how Gatsby’s corruption was hidden therefore nobody wants connection or anything to do with him after his death. Gatsby’s corruption is hidden through glamour, wealth and his affair with Daisy. His mansion, lawns, beach, motor cars, speed boats, clothing, and expensive household furnishings work together to create a magical illusion of social standing. Gatsby’s character is also very magician-like. The fact that there were several rumours about Gatsby such as he ‘killed a man’ also shows the reader his corrupt world. Gatsby is a man of curiosity whom people can relate to yet question. Everything Gatsby states seem to change from chapter to chapter hinting at corruption and lies. For instance: I was able to do the commissioner a favour once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year’. This hints at corruption and lies because it contrasts with what is said in the previous chapter. In chapter 4 we again hear of Gatsby through the eyes of Nick in a positive way: ‘a man of fine breeding...’ This brings about the positivity of Gatsby and him living in a glamorous world. This contrasts with his corruptive world as both of his worlds in chapter 4 seem to clash and it hints at how both of Gatsby’s world link in with each other. Fitzgerald’s language and detail surrounding the parties told to us by Nick suggests how glamorous his world and how cinematic his parties and glamour must be: ‘...eight servants... five crates... two hundred oranges in half an hour... by seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived...’ This is Nick’s way of stating how glamorous and important Gatsby’s parties are and although it proves Nick to be the reliable narrator, it also proves Gatsby to be living in a very glamorous world; only his wealth could afford these parties to make it glamorous which reinforces the idea that Gatsby must have been corrupt to have these gatherings. Furthermore, the repetition of the word ‘and’ states how much detail Nick has to be giving to the reader about these parties and how much must be going on at Gatsby’s mansion. In addition with this, Gatsby is just another person at these gatherings whom people do not really know or like at all: ‘ and girls came and went like moths’. This suggests how...
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