The Great Gatsby Essay

Decent Essays

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays American society in the 1920’s after WWI has just ended, a decade of unprecedented economic prosperity. In the book, Fitzgerald critiques the loss of moral values and the degradation of American society, symbolizing it as a “valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where . . . ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke” (Fitzgerald 23). Through the characters of the book, Fitzgerald exposes the American dream from behind its dazzling veil of happiness and success, and characterizes its true form: a mad, desperate and hopeless chase towards something unattainable, turning a once innocent dream, into a shattered nightmare, destroying everything in its wake. The book is set in Long …show more content…

The readers are also introduced to Nick’s second cousin and her husband, Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Daisy and Tom represent the wealthy: rich and glamorous but also shallow and selfish. They both come from affluent families and live a life of luxury, living in “the white palaces of fashionable East Egg” (Fitzgerad 5). Tom “had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven” and “his family were enormously wealthy” (Fitzgerald 6). Daisy has a “low, thrilling voice . . . the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down” (Fitzgerald 9). Together, they lead a carefree, excessive and transient lifestyle, moving from place to place restlessly. However, just like the American dream and society, Tom and Daisy and Gatsby’s envious lives are not what they seem to be. Throughout the book, Fitzgerald reveals many cracks in the lives and characters of Tom, Daisy and Gatsby. The woman Gatsby is in love with is tragically, Daisy Buchanan. Daisy, and not the massive fortune Gatsby has accumulated, is Gatsby’s “American dream”, his ever-elusive goal. Having already lost her once because he “had no comfortable family standing behind him, and was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world” (Fitzgerald 149), Gatsby is determined to win her back, even declaring to Daisy’s husband, Tom, that Daisy “only married [Tom] because he (Gatsby) was poor and she was tired of waiting for

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