The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and was published in the year 1925 is possibly the most significant work of fiction of the decade and it is considered to be an account of the self-absorption of the affluent class in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby had been praised as an imaginative and material success for the young author of the book, F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book was well thought-out to be an immensely mature and creatively masterful management of Fitzgerald's themes than his previously published fiction. The idea of the American Dream is presented in an extremely interesting and vivid way in this book.
According to Fitzgerald, the American dream precisely dealt with detection, uniqueness, and the quest of happiness. This is apparent from the way the character named Nick in Chapter IX is described in the story. The American society during the 1920s, as described by the author in this book was more about trouble-free wealth and comfortable communal values and the same were believed to have resulted in the American dream getting awfully corrupted, especially on the East Coast.
The inaptness and incompatibility between the reverie vision of Gatsby and the reality around is an outstanding theme of the book. The pursuit of Gatsby for the American Dream; class variance; the cultural gap between the East and the West; and the variation between virtuousness and knowledge in the life led by Caraway are few other relevant themes of this book. A wealthy aesthetic familiarity with many subtleties in tenor and content also make this book even more interesting.
Gatsby, for instance, lives in a monstrously flamboyant manor. On the contrary, the old upper crust people possess elegance, savour, delicacy, and classiness. This is apparent from the representation of the Buchannan’s tasteful home and the graceful white dresses worn by Daisy and Jordan Baker.
While being extremely concerned and focused on the aspects of grace and taste, the old nobility failed to even consider elements like kindness and nobility as not even important in their life. This is evident from the behaviour of the East Eggers who proved to be lackadaisical and selfish bullies, who were so accomplished with their wealth and its ability to comfort their minds. This has transformed them in such a way to be least bothered about other people’s worries and hard times. The Buchanan family illustrate this typecast when they merely move to a new house far away and hence avoid attending Gatsby's funeral that takes place at the end of the story. Gatsby, on the contrary, whose latest prosperity derives from illegal activity, possess a genuine and faithful heart, remaining outside the window of his lady of dreams – Daisy, until the early hours of the next day in Chapter VII just to ensure that Tom does not harm her.
The most important plot of the book reflects this judgment, as Gatsby's reverie of loving Daisy is broke by the dissimilarity between their individual social statuses and Gatsby involving in unlawful activities in order to make huge money easily so that he can impress his lady love, and the uncontrolled greed that narrates her everyday life. Furthermore, places and objects in the book have significance only because the characters in the story install them with respective meaning. According to Schneider, “The ability to create significant symbols constitutes a vital constituent of the American dream, as the early Americans invested their brand new nation with their own individual principles and morals.”
The Great Gatsby is an extremely emblematic and exhaustive contemplation of the American society of the 1920s, precisely centered on the downfall of the American dream in an era of astonishing yet unusual affluence and material surplus. The American society, during the 1920s was believed to have experienced a revolution in terms of culture as well as lifestyle. In terms of the economic situation, the Dow Jones boomed, the affluent Americans expended their riches on spectacular and incredible parties and expensive purchases, the automobile became a symbol of glamour and prosperity. People made massive amounts of money, both legally and also illicitly. Fitzgerald has amazingly and pedantically captured the whirlwind speed of the 1920s post-War era of the American society in the Great Gatsby. The book is essentially about the tragic pursuit of Gatsby and his brutal death that predicted the collapse of that era along with the commencement of cynicism with the American dream.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. NuVision Publications, 2008.
Plezer, Linda C. Student Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers, 1979.
Schneider, Daniel J. "Color-Symbolism in The Great Gatsby." Dickstein, Morris. Critical Insights: The Great Gatsby. Ipswich:MA: Salem Publishers, 2009. 246-254.