To, Fellow classmate
Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby became an immediate classic and brought its young author to fame he had never seen before. The novel captured the spirit of the "Jazz Age," a post-World War I era in upper class America that Fitzgerald himself gave this name to. It is the view that Fitzgerald was writing about the traditional American belief, and the usefulness of accepted myths. The Great Gatsby is about many things, but it’s unavoidable critique of the "American dream" In nine chapters, Fitzgerald presents the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby in a first-person narrative by Nick Carraway. Carraway reveals the story of a farmer's son, named Jay Gatz. It is through Carraway's eyes that we see the other characters and the world they live in. Carraway is the only character in the novel to exhibit, and hold onto, a sense of morals and decency throughout the novel. Symbolism is heavily used, and can be found in both the characters actions and the physical objects. His mad wealth is acquired only to gain acceptance into the sophisticated money world of the woman he loves, Daisy Fay Buchanan. His romantic illusions about the power of money to buy respect and the love of Daisy- the "golden girl" of his dreams are skillfully and ironically seen and show what Fitzgerald viewed as the cruel and moral irresponsibility of the wealthy American society of the 1920s. Through the novel, Fitzgerald puts across the idea that the American dream has been corrupted by the desire for materialism. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." (Chapter 1, pg. 1). We see that Gatsby had a pure dream, but became corrupt in his quest towards that dream. Gatsby's idea of the American Dream is doomed because he tries to buy his way into a society that will never accept him. Gatsby gets his idea of how to achieve the American Dream from Benjamin...
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