Morality In The Great Gatsby

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Frustrated by years of oppression and starvation, French peasants began a revolution to overthrow the monarchy and system of aristocracy. However, the peasant’s dream for a chance to make something of themselves, quickly spiraled out of control and became the means for many to brutally avenge years of mistreatment. In the end, although the French Revolution brought a new system of government to power, the lifestyles of the peasants hardly improved. Similarly, in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, dreams to make a better life for himself, but spends his life on a fruitless quest. Gatsby’s moral ambiguity reveals his confusion in the pursuit of dreams rendered unattainable by the rich. Jay Gatsby often conducts himself admirably, yet earns a fortune selling alcohol illegally, making it difficult to discern his true character. While everyone else at his parties would be mingling with women, “no one swooned backward on Gatsby” (50). Singularly focusing on his dreams, Gatsby refrains from the trifles of his parties and comports himself honorably. Set above his parties both literally, as he watches over the scene, and in terms of the magnitude of his aspirations, Gatsby refuses the temptations of his setting. In addition, “Gatsby hardly drank due to his experience with Cody” (100). Thoughtfully noting the unfortunate fate of Dan Cody, Gatsby shuns alcohol in his effort to achieve his dreams. Willing to sacrifice enjoyment in
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