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Published: 18-09-2019

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Criticizing the American dream as shown in The Great Gatsby

Via its unflattering characterization of these at the best of the economic heap and its appalling examination of the methods in which the American Dream not only fails to fulfill its promise but also contributes to the decay of moral values in a modern day society, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby gives a vital social history of America in the twenties inside its narrative. Fitzgerald creates a setting in which wealth is at the heart of everyone’s desires. The artificial planet of The Fantastic Gatsby displays a notable discrepancy in between the East and the West. The materialism of the East creates the tragedy of destruction, dishonesty, and fear. No moral values exist in such an atmosphere. Fitzgerald portrays in this novel the putrefaction of innocence and of true really like beneath the influences of capitalism and materialism by way of the relationships amongst characters. The relationships among Tom and Daisy, Tom and Myrtle, and Nick and his thoughts all attest to this theory of decomposition.

Tom and Daisy’s unstable partnership offers an instance as to how wealth overrules really like in the relationships within this narrative. Daisy, the quintessential air-headed, southern belle, and Tom, the stereotypical brute jock, in theory, make the best pair of superficial beings. Nonetheless, it is clear that they are not truly satisfied with every single other for they share affections with individuals outdoors of the connection. For that reason, the query should arise as to why the pair stays together. The narrator, Nick Carraway, even questions why Tom and Daisy are together, saying that they “retreated back into their income or their vast carelessness, or what ever it was that kept them together” (136). In the finish, what other explanation except for the social confines and expectations of the time would explain the relationship in between Daisy and Tom Buchanan? Gatsby, stuck in the social class of “new money” (122), is left by his mutual lover, Daisy, simply because she craves the lavish life-style with which Tom offers her. The materialistic belongings of Daisy are an overcompensation for her insecurities. Nick says that the couple “drifted right here and there unrestfully wherever individuals played polo and had been wealthy together” (17). This statement is a subtle attestment to the lack of intimacy and to the abundance of corruption and unhappiness in the relationship.

The relationship amongst Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson also projects the notion of a connection which has been corrupted by materialism. Tom tries to justify his affairs by saying that “once in awhile [he] goes off on a spree and make(s) a fool of [himself], but [he] often come(s) back, and in [his] heart [he] love(s) her all the time” (156). Even so, even Tom’s marriage with Daisy is just an exchange for her youth, beauty, and social status. Tom uses his income and social status to have affairs with functioning-class ladies, such as Myrtle Wilson, who are simply home to him. His extramarital affairs with Myrtle Wilson can be understood in terms of his view of human interaction. The thought that the worth of a human becoming lies in the value of his possessions comes into play in this instance. On the other hand, Myrtle Wilson’s affair, to her, was a taste of the aristocratic champagne. Tom was the symbol of wealth and energy for which Myrtle had sought. Myrtle even flirts with Tom in front of her husband, George Wilson when she “smiled gradually and, walking by means of her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye” (26). In ruining their relationships with Daisy and George Wilson, these characters succeed in shaking the integrity of marriage. Their adulterous acts are desperate cries for both wealth and class and self-worth. Hence, the expanding social idea of materialism causes several episodes of infidelity, expunging the sanctity of marriage.

Lastly, Nick Carraway’s internal conflict serves as a prime example of the decay of innocence, influenced by the new social requirements. At 1st, he has mixed feelings about his East Coast move where the individuals lack the very same integrity and very good morale as these of his native region, the midwest. Nick Carraway is an emotionally sound character whose defining traits contain honesty, great judgement, and midwestern innocence. In truth, in the starting of the novel, Carraway says that he is “one of the handful of sincere people [he] knows” (59). He judges the people who have been corrupted by wealth or energy he say that Tom and Daisy are “careless people” (145) he also says that Jordan Baker, somewhat of a love interest, is “incurably dishonest” (158). All through the novel, his character evolves into a more East Coast character. He is stripped of his innocence and becomes less socially naïve simply because of his experiences with partying, affairs, and common corruption and dishonesty. His interaction with the other characters molds him into a replica of absolutely everyone else. Later, Carraway resolves this conflicting by moving back west. He says that “when [he] came back from the East final autumn [he] felt that [he] wanted the planet to be in uniform and at a sort of moral consideration forever [and he] wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart” (4). His modify of heart and loss of innocence is due to his exposure to the corruption of the planet and his involvement with the surrounding characters.

Fitzgerald portrays in this novel the putrefaction of innocence and of correct enjoy under the influences of capitalism and materialism via the relationships among characters. For every relationship constructed on a stanchion of wealth and energy, adore becomes just one more ring on a finger. Fitzgerald provides a moral observation about the distinction amongst the characters of the East and of the West. Those from the Midwest—the newly arrived Nick Carraway — are fair, comparatively innocent, unsophisticated, even though the East natives —Tom and Daisy Buchanan— are unfair, corrupt, and materialistic. The failure of the American Dream rests on the fact that it is only impetuses are materialism and capitalism. With these social alterations, the artificiality of the globe becomes increasingly undeniable and enjoy and innocence turn into endangered social species.
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