F scott Fitzgerald great gatsby analysis
Fitzgerald establishes the mood in the opening of The Great Gatsby as scandalous and grim yet with hope created by the character named as Gatsby.
Firstly, Fitzgerald uses the symbolism of “an extraordinary gift of hope” to describe the character of Gatsby. This could suggest that the character of Gatsby is very important in the book and a symbol of hope in the book and happiness in the book, especially because the adjective “Great” is used on the title of the book. In addition, this may imply the noun “gift” suggests he is not instantly in the book alongside the main character named Nick so could be found or perhaps gifted to him. Furthermore this might infer that the mood of the book will be hopeful or happy in contrast to the grim mood that is portrayed in the first paragraph of the book. Moreover, the adjective “extraordinary” might imply that the character Gatsby is amazing and possibly more important in the book than Nick who is speaking in the first person for the book, especially as Gatsby is described in more detail than himself in the opening of the book. Also this could imply that Nick does not think of himself as amazing and perhaps needs a symbol of hope in the form of Gatsby.
Secondly, he uses the imagery of “an intimate revelation quivering on the horizon” to describe his life and the lives of other men around him. This could suggest that there is a lot of gossip around the time and place he lives which might further imply that he lives in a time before internet and television so perhaps the 1920s because that was the time when it was written. In addition, this might imply that there is a lot of privacy around him and there are a lot of secrets in where the book is set. Furthermore, this may infer that there is an atmosphere of fear due to the verb “quivering” perhaps of people being afraid their secrets will come out. Moreover, this could foreshadow future events in the book suggesting there will be a lot of scandal and “intimate revelations”. Also, the adjective “intimate” may suggest that there might be a lot to do about romance in this book due to intimacy often being connoted with romance and love.
Thirdly, Fitzgerald uses the metaphor of “foul dust that floated in the wake of his dreams” is used to describe Gatsby. This might suggest that there is a grim atmosphere in the book. In addition, this may infer that Gatsby’s mind relates to the atmosphere of the book which seems grim in the opening. Furthermore, the noun “dreams” could imply that the book has a lot of fantasy, mainly about Gatsby. Moreover, the noun “Dust” might imply that it is only on the surface and only starting to happen which could perhaps imply the start of the decline of the 1920s.
Fitzgerald was the most famous chronicler of 1920s America, an era that he dubbed “the Jazz Age.” Written in 1925, The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest literary documents of this period, in which the American economy soared, bringing unprecedented levels of prosperity to the nation. Prohibition, the ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol, made millionaires out of bootleggers, and an underground culture of revelry sprang up. Sprawling private parties managed to elude police notice, and “speakeasies”—secret clubs that sold liquor—thrived. The chaos and violence of World War I left America in a state of shock, and the generation that fought the war turned to wild and extravagant living to compensate. The staid conservatism and timeworn values of the previous decade were turned on their ear, as money, opulence, and exuberance became the order of the day.
Like Nick in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald found this new lifestyle seductive and exciting, and, like Gatsby, he had always idolized the very rich. Now he found himself in an era in which unrestrained materialism set the tone of society, particularly in the large cities of the East. Even so, like Nick, Fitzgerald saw through the glitter of the Jazz Age to the moral emptiness and hypocrisy beneath, and part of him longed for this absent moral centre. In many ways, The Great Gatsby represents Fitzgerald’s attempt to confront his conflicting feelings about the Jazz Age. Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised.