This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Great Gatsby Essay

2596 words - 11 pages

The Great Gatsby: The Corruption of the American Dream through Materialism The American dream is an ideal that has been present since American literature’s onset. Typically, the dreamer aspires to rise from rags to riches, while accumulating such things as love, high status, wealth, and power on his way to the top. The dream has had variations throughout different time periods, although it is generally based on ideas of freedom, self-reliance, and a desire for something greater. The early settlers’ dream of traveling out West to find land and start a family has gradually transformed into a materialistic vision of having a big house, a nice car, and a life of ease. In the past century, the ...view middle of the document...

The last time Nick sees Gatsby alive, he tells him, “They’re a rotten crowd…. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together” (Fitzgerald 162). Gatsby’s romantic view of life may partly be to blame for his inability to achieve his dream. Although he has made his fortune through racketeering and conducting suspicious business deals, his heart seems untouched by the moral evil that is around him. “He has lived not for himself, but for his dream, for his vision of the good life inspired by the beauty of a lovely rich girl” (Fahey 71). Gatsby’s inspiration comes from the beautiful Daisy (Fay) Buchanan, whom he knew when he was in the military. Daisy’s parents considered Gatsby to be an unsuitable match, because he did not come from a good background and had little money. Nick Carraway, the narrator, sees Daisy as the golden girl—the quintessential rich beauty.

Daisy is the symbol of all that Gatsby strives for; her voice is full of money, as Gatsby describes it. Her voice was “full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song in it” (Fitzgerald 127). She can be interpreted as a twentieth-century siren because she ensnares men with her husky, mysterious voice. Gatsby became so enamored by her voice that he based all of his actions on winning Daisy over. Her voice contains the promise of vast riches. However, Gatsby is too late to realize that money is the only thing her voice promises. There is no compassion in Daisy, just as there is none in cold, hard cash. Gatsby’s idealism is so great that even though Daisy is married and they are having an affair, he assumes that his vision will be realized as long as she will say that she has never loved her husband, Tom. “Not content merely to repeat the past, [Gatsby] must also eradicate the years in which his dream lost its reality” (Bloom 78). Daisy has been the object of Gatsby’s obsession for the past five years, and his romanticism will not allow him to separate the past from the present. He still sees Daisy as the golden girl he knew five years ago, and he is still set on their golden future together. Gatsby’s lapse in judgment is in not realizing that Daisy represents both material success and the corruption that wealth can bring. Although she appears to be full of sweetness and light, she is at heart self-centered

and cold. Daisy is careless with people’s lives; she lets Gatsby take the blame for her unintentional manslaughter of Myrtle Wilson. Her careless actions eventually result in Gatsby’s death, of which she shows no concern. She commits adultery, but she had no real intentions of leaving her husband. After she learns of Gatsby’s shady background, she quickly runs back into the arms of her equally self-absorbed, corrupt husband. The Buchanans live in the wealthy and highly exclusive East Egg of Long Island, which is the location that Gatsby probably desires. The green light at the end of the Buchanans’ dock symbolizes Gatsby’s...

Other Papers Like The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Essay

1168 words - 5 pages The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that takes a different spin on the stereotypical American dream. To say “through the novel, Fitzgerald puts across the idea that the American dream has been corrupted by the desire for materialism” would be accurate. Because “we see that Gatsby had a pure dream, but became corrupt in his quest towards that dream,” this is how the American dream was viewed as corrupt. Throughout the novel Gatsby

On the Great Gatsby Essay

792 words - 4 pages The Humble Beginning that Keeps Gatsby from Daisy After reading The Great Gatsby, many people would try put the responsibility of Gatsby onto the shoulder of the corrupted society and the cowardice of the heroin, Daisy. However, money worship is never absent during any time; and cowardice exists in every man and women, even though when they are in love. But not all the people in love are kept away from their beloved ones. Therefore, I think

The Great Gatsby

1659 words - 7 pages The Great Gatsby is a story where the plot remains primarily around Jay Gatsby himself, but is set in the third-person perspective of Nick Carraway. This creates a setback throughout the story because it did not show Gatsby's full point of view, just what Nick observed. Even though the story focuses on Gatsby's achievements and heroism, it is obvious that Nick Carraway, the narrator, displays even greater qualities of a hero. This is not to

The Great Gatsby

846 words - 4 pages “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.” (Fitzgerald, 180). This novel, The Great Gatsby, was written by an insightfully amorous man names F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story was, loosely, based off of his

The Great Gatsby - 783 words

783 words - 4 pages To some people, holding on to a dream can be one of the greatest challenges of their life, let alone achieving that dream. In the book, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a man named James Gatz (aka Jay Gatsby) is revealed as one with a strong past of pursuing his dream. Jay Gatsby stood as his own bulwark throughout his entire life trying to achieve his one dream, and with his determination he could have obtained it. Unfortunately, as

The Great Gatsby - 910 words

910 words - 4 pages In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Nick, the confidant, plays significant roles, such as narrator, and a person in whom Jay Gatsby and the reader confide in.Nick's various roles help to shape the theme of the novel. Nick narrates the story of Gatsby, a poor Midwesterner, who longs for reuniting with his lost love, Daisy, a rich materialistic girl. Gatsby's search becomes materialistic because he uses bootlegging, fancy parties, and

The Great Gatsby - 1223 words

1223 words - 5 pages Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby exemplifies such a character. The life Gatsby creates becomes a circus act that, in the end, prevents him from reclaiming Daisy Buchanan’s love. Everyone at Gatsby’s parties becomes an act in his great circus because the environment Gatsby creates reduces them to an attraction rather than a person. Prior to the Buchanans’ first appearance at one of Gatsby’s parties, the social context of the novel places a large

The Great Gatsby - 749 words

749 words - 3 pages having an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Nick Carraway plays a major role in Daisy’s love life in The Great Gatsby. Nick is Daisy’s second cousin and he knew Tom from college (11). Daisy invites Nick over for dinner one evening and that is how she relearns about Jay Gatsby (11-17). Daisy met Gatsby at a dance in Louisville. They used to be madly in love with one another when he was in the army (). They had plans of always being together and being

The Great Gatsby Commentary

539 words - 3 pages she realized that this was not true and that at one point, she did indeed love her husband. She loved them both and was not granted her divorce. She left with Gatsby but returned to her home with her husband. The things that roses symbolize like love and happiness that now are meaningless to Gatsby and bring him only pain as displayed in the quote “grotesque thing a rose is.” Flowers been a common motif throughout The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - 2311 words

2311 words - 10 pages In chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby, a reporter comes to Gatsby’s door to interview him about his personal life. Jay Gatsby’s original name was James Gatz and he was born on a North Dakota farm but went to college in St. Olaf, Minnesota. He dropped out of college and later met the wealthy Dan Cody who hired him as a personal assistant. When Dan Cody died he left Gatsby $25,000, but his mistress prevented Gatsby from claiming it. After that, Gatsby

the great gatsby

1247 words - 5 pages English 1 26 April 2014 Truth Behind Reality Have you ever had that feeling where you think you know someone but when you come to find out you don’t? It’s a mutual feeling many get and are stunned by what they find out. In theJ book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Fitzgerald mentions a quote in CH.6 which reads, “ The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his own Platonic conception of

Related Essays

The Great Gatsby Essay 1031 Words

1031 words - 5 pages The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis The book, The Great Gatsby, was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it was published in 1925. This novel is one that defines the Twenties. The speaker of the book is a young man who goes by the name of Nick Carraway, who is from Minnesota. Throughout the book, he both narrates the story and casts himself as the author of this book. His father taught him to reserve judgment about other people that crossed his

The Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay

812 words - 4 pages The Great Gatsby Symbolism By: Sanjay Lamsal In The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald uses many different examples of intricate symbolism in-order to tell the story of the protagonist, Jay Gatsby. Two different examples of symbolism in The Great Gatsby are time and the green light on Daisy’s dock. Gatsby's relationship with time is a major aspect to the plot and is most important to Gatsby’s character. The

The Great Gatsby Essay 990 Words

990 words - 4 pages Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is a rendition of F.Scott Fitzgerald novel with the same name. The great Gatsby is a melodramatic love story based out of New York in the 1920’s.dream like quality produced by digital animation takes you into a trance during the entire film. Hope and fantasy are prevalent in Gatsby while trying to win over his love. Star power is displayed with Gatsby the main character portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and caraway

The Great Gatsby Essay 942 Words

942 words - 4 pages The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a very well known story in American literature. Some people like to say that this is a story about friendships and relationships. The main character in the story is a handsome young man by the name of Jay Gatsby. Through out Gatsby's entire life he has practically been in love with a young women by the name of Daisy, but they were unable to be married. Gatsby is a very popular man who is