The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1301 Words6 Pages
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the corruption of upper class America in the 1920s. This corruption, often driven by the hunger for success or money, reaches all aspects of life, warping lavishness into carelessness and desire into a burning lust. Indeed, throughout the book, Jay Gatsby, the wealthy and enigmatic protagonist, finds his affection for Daisy Fay, his first love, transformed into an all-consuming obsession. When they first meet, Gatsby is completely “engrossed,” and “looked at Daisy [...] in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime.” Jordan calls this moment “romantic” and cites it as her reason to have remembered it at all. “Engrossed” carries a weight of intensity and…show more content…
Gatsby’s willingness to send a “‘gratulat[ing]” letter to Daisy illustrates the idea that he loves her enough to want her happy, with or without him. The image of an inoffensive romance is continued until we find that Gatsby, upon returning from the Great War, has moved across the bay from Daisy, just so that he might be close to her. This need for closeness tarnishes the idea of simple love, and ushers in a feeling of endearing but almost stalker-like devotion. Additionally, the Midwestern inflection of the word congratulate reminds us of Daisy’s roots in the Midwest, and the values that seem to be centered there of humility, kindness, and happiness. Nick calls Daisy’s voice “thrilling” and says that it holds a “promise that [...] there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.” Similarly, at the very beginning of the book, Nick calls Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope” the representation of everything he scorned, causing Nick to crave uniformity and “moral attention.” By tying conceptual values to one person, Fitzgerald portrays them as the embodiment of these fantastical, sometimes unreachable values. In doing so, he introduces and foreshadows the idea of Gatsby building his dream around Daisy and her “thrilling” voice, much the same way Nick bases his desire for moral uniformity on the depressing consequences of
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