The Great Gatsby Compared to the Wasteland

1255 Words6 Pages
Fitzgerald 's Great Gatsby and Elliot 's The Wasteland are two stories that similarly express the modernist post-war disillusionment. Both stories comment pessimistically on the direction that our world is moving in from the post-war modernist perspective. Both men looked past the roaring twenties, and realized that this time period was actually a moral wasteland. The final paragraphs of The Great Gatsby sum up their mutual lack of faith in American culture to improve. Fitzgerald uses a number of both direct and indirect ways to comment on what has happened to America. The green light is a recurring symbol in this book that has many deep meanings. Beginning in the first chapter, when Nick compares the green bulk of America rising…show more content…
The people who first came to America had the green in their eyes as well, and they were corrupted by the opportunities that America had to offer. This paragraph also shows that it was the green light and the dreams of Gatsby which cut down the pure fertility of this place in lieu of riches and materialism. The paragraph continues to discuss the natural brilliance of America, and that the people who came were initially amazed by this. This amazement was evanescent, and the people who came to America began to follow the green light, resulting in this wasteland. And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby 's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy 's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

In this paragraph Nick looks back to Gatsby and his pursuit of the green light. He says that Gatsby 's pursuit of daisy was corrupted by materialism, and that his dream was close enough that he could feel it. Nick expresses a longing for the past in this paragraph, and expresses that in
Get Access