F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Nick in The Great Gatsby to develop a new view of the American dream by exploring the illusion of unending pleasure that it seems to provide. At first glance the American dream promised success and wealth that was almost limitless. An era characterized by extravagant parties and displays of wealth was built on an illusion that it would continue without end. Soon, people lost track of the work that got them there and began to be concerned more about the display of wealth than actually having it. This began to lead to an illusion of wealth built upon a materialistic view of society. The materialistic illusion began to be eroded upon despite attempts to stifle the advances of nature (“PROSPERITY”). This controversy…show more content…
This points to him as unreliable to narrate. He is not able to realize that Tom has not been suspected at first. Tom is an image of the materialistic man (Stratton). Nick’s inability points to the depth that the illusion has permeated society. Nick’s inability and lack of decisiveness fails to fill out a complete picture of what is happening around him. This uncertain narration emphasizes an uncertainty in what is actually happening and points to a distinction between reality and what is happening behind the scenes (Cartwright 3). This further reinforces the illusion that is the American dream. Nick contradicts himself by judging Gatsby’s war story, comparing it with a simile to “skimming hastily through a dozen magazines” (Fitzgerald 66; ch. 4). Nick is judging a story where, “its subject is realistic, its detailing local and concrete, and the whole internally consistent,” (Cartwright 6). This further develops Nick as unreliable as a narrator. Nick’s unreliable narration helps to divulge the illusion that permeates the society around him. Nick is established as a balance between nature and materialism to emphasize the conflict that is hidden beneath the illusion of the American dream. Nick is able to see both the materialism and nature without bias. The light makes it seem as though, “my house was on fire” (Fitzgerald 81; ch. 5). By using a metaphor to compare the light from Gatsby’s
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