The discrepancy between Gatsby's dream vision and reality is a prominent theme in this book. Other motifs include Gatsby's quest for the American Dream; class conflict (the Wilsons vs. the Buchanans and the underworld lowbrows vs. Gatsby); the cultural rift between East and West; and the contrast between innocence and experience in the narrator's life. A rich aesthetic experience with many subtleties in tone and content, this novel can be read over and over again for new revelations and continued pleasure.
background The Roaring Twenties was called “roaring” because of its luxuriant, high-spirited culture. Many people were against Prohibition, indulged in new styles of dancing and fashion, and refused many traditional moral standards. As an Ivy League educated, middle-class Midwesterner, Fitzgerald (like Nick) saw through the shallow materialism of the era. the West represents new opportunity, undeveloped territory, and potential wealth. he Midwest was the home of many main characters including Nick, Jordan, Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby. The Midwest represents more established normal lifestyle, evidenced by Nick moving back to the Midwest upon turning 30 (the age of establishment and stability.) The Midwest also represents hospitality and the kindness of American people. In the novel, the East symbolizes a more sporadic and generally younger lifestyle. When the main characters move out East, their lives all change dramatically from their past ways in the Midwest. The characters are introduced to a more carefree and immoral lifestyle.The East also contains great wealth.
West Egg, New York In The Great Gatsby, it represents the newer wealth of the East and the rising establishment of the younger generation. West Egg is inhabited by self-made men. Nick and Gatsby live in West Egg. Nick = west egg as a world complete in itself, with its own standards and own figures, no consciousness 112
But she pretends to be impressed with it when Tom starts knocking the party. it represents established and inherited wealth. for it is where Myrtle Wilson is killed by Gatsby’s car. like that of Tom and Daisy. Towards the climax of the novel. During the story. New York In the novel. Valley of Ashes. It is a place of emptiness. clothes. Tom for example. 115
East Egg. this place truly earns its name. the American dream is corrupted by the selfish pleasures of the men and women in the story. New York In the story. this place is a poorer part of the city where George and Myrtle Wilson live. which he uses to buy a big mansion with many cars. Tom = I wonder where the devil daisy met (Gatsby) women run around too much these days to suit me (111)
Theme – American dream the American dream was supposed to be the pursuit of happiness and the love between a man and a woman. and lavish trips all around the world. and desolation. planes. poverty.Daisy doesn’t like the crudeness of the crowd. inherited a great wealth of money. The people who live there are older and have a larger family history of wealth and fame.
. Dust covered wreck of a Ford (28)
Roaring twenties Fitzgerald was an avid participant in the stereotypical "Roaring Twenties" lifestyle of wild partying and bootleg liquor FLAPPERS = Catherine (myrtle’s sister) wordly girl with red bob hair make up = plucked eye brows and drawn again (33) 1. or of West Egg in general.
Gatsby is a firm believer in the American Dream of self-made success: he has. but has succeeded both financially and societally. in Gatsby's case. and nice clothes. there was a major rise in materialism and greed.as he did with his own persona -. Eventually Daisy comes over to Gatsby’s house and they have an affair while Daisy’s husband is also having an affair. not only invented and self-promoted a whole new persona for himself. he struggles with the reality of when those aspirations for his American Dream are either achieved or. lies in the destruction of an ultimate American idealist. however. Nick and Gatsby both fought in the war and Gatsby reflects the materialistic ways of the people at this time.
easy money meant that many people could begin to dream of living out their days like Jay Gatsby true tragedy. He has parties every Saturday to try and get Daisy over to his house even though he knew that she was married. Gatsby ends up loosing Daisy when she learns about his criminal past and then he has nothing to live for anymore and he ends up getting shot by George Wilson. and Myrtle all put money and pleasure before the wellbeing of others and it ends up leading to death and destruction. Although Gatsby remains fully committed to his aspirations up until his death. All of the characters “American Dreams. Tom. cars and planes. The idealism evident in Gatsby's constant aspirations helps define what Fitzgerald saw as the basis for the American Character. Gatsby recognizes that -. At the end he returns to the Midwest where he can continue living out his good moral values. Gatsby.” get corrupted by their greed and of their wanting for more things in their lives. Daisy.
. This shows the decline of moral and social values of this era. proven inaccessible.Jay Gatsby also owns a big house.he has created an ideal for Daisy to live up to. decline of moral After the soldiers got back home from World War 1. after all. Gatsby was Nick’s best friend and Nick feels lonely once Gatsby is dead and he returns to the Midwest where people have good moral values. When Nick comes to New York he has very good values and beliefs but notices that the people of New York do not. Gatsby seems to realize that his idea and pursuit of Daisy is more rewarding than the actual attainment of her.
either Tom or Gatsby.
. .Daisy was hoping that she could make the right decision about who she wanted to be to be with.
3. Hopereserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope (3) nick Nick = like to come to New York and he hopes that he can become a good Bondsman and make lots of money here. and let other people clean up the mess they had made" (188). Myrtle to Catherine = Cheating and all they care was money (34) 4.2. Tom and Daisy -. the hope that he’ll have a better life when he was in the Mid West (105) the reversies provided an outlet for his imagination The hope to repeat the past 118 Tom = hoping that Daisy would stay with him during the fight at the hotel with Gatsby.they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together. and the women are mad because their husbands are trying to talk to the hot young things. Jay Gatsby = will win back Daisy and they will get married and things will go back to as they were when they first met each other. "They were careless people. Spreading rumours and legends about people (104) of Gatsby like living on a boat that secretly travels along the long island shore
Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply 64
Adultery Jordan commented that both tom and myrtle were not happy with their spouse Nick commented = most of the remaining women were now having fights with men said to be their husbands (56) The men are mad because they’re not being allowed to talk to the hot young things.
East Egg represents "old money" while West Egg represents the nouveau riche. Women didn’t marry a men as his class is lower than her (38)was’t fit to lick my shoe Materialism = lost of traditional values Daisy’s voice = full of money A girl got an expensive dress from party (48) Gatsby regarded his shelf of books as nice durable cardboard and use it to show off “did I tell you about the books? They’re real” (50) . with love. Daisy nearly destroys her marriage by seeking another life with Gatsby. Tom destroys his wife’s love for him by committing adultery. and Gatsby destroys himself in seeking Daisy. Jay Gatsby. Class and wealth are virtually indistinguishable from each other. We see the results of such a jaded ennui in Jordan. the protagonist. needs nothing. East Eggers consistently look down on West Eggers for precisely this fact. No one is happy with marriage. but he cannot fake education or social behaviors that only come with "old money. who has everything. with life in general. West Egg and East Egg. 2. Those who do come from other classes seek and envy the glamour and lifestyle that they see in the elite. Nobody’s concerned about politics or spiritual matters but everybody cares about how they are perceived socially. then he is clearly not part of the upper echelon. are distinguished also by class. yet is still dissatisfied.to secure and make others believe he has a taste in high end lit and art that fits his high social status * yet others like Jordan doesn’t believe (54) just like others predicted he must have killed
Social class 1. is able to attain a certain amount of wealth.The Great Gatsby presents an array of characters dissatisfied with life. and they all destroy the lives of others in seeking to fix it. but if a person lacks education." 3.
across the bay. as America’s powerful optimism. She says she hopes that she never meets a person as careless as herself.
GREEN LIGHT another turning point occurs during this visit. which has a profound effect on Gatsby. His dream of her disintegrates.. which is an important part of his personality. at the beginning of the novel. not realizing that his dreams are unworthy of him. but Jordan says no. and individualism become subordinated to the amoral pursuit of wealth.. Daisy's green light cannot be seen. it’s fine.Tom = civilization is going to pieces “the rise of the coloured empires” if we don’t look out the white race will be utterly submerged it is up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things (16) Showed the thinking of the wealthy about the change of racial relations the American dream should not be attained by them
classic Fitzgerald line: "Dishonesty in a woman is something you never blame deeply." Ha. hopeful young man who stakes everything on his dreams. however." she tells Nick. "Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. when Gatsby tries to show Daisy her house -.
.. Gatsby has literally created his own character. but we’re not making any women jokes about that.marked by the green light at the end of the dock -. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one" (98). "That’s why I like you.Now it was again a green light on a dock. She’s also a horrible driver. This talent for selfinvention is what gives Gatsby his quality of “greatness”: As the novel progresses and Fitzgerald deconstructs Gatsby’s self-presentation. "I hate careless people. much in the way Fitzgerald sees the American dream crumbling in the 1920s. As his relentless quest for Daisy demonstrates. as long as other people are careful drivers. even changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby to represent his reinvention of himself. Gatsby reveals himself to be an innocent. Nick suggests."
Fitzgerald uses this technique of delayed character revelation to emphasize the theatrical quality of Gatsby’s approach to life. revealing the corruption that wealth causes and the unworthiness of the goal. he appears to the reader just as he desires to appear to the world. Gatsby has an extraordinary ability to transform his hopes and dreams into reality. Due to mist from the rain. Nick tells her to be careful. vitality.