Lori Steinbach Certified Educator F. Scott Fitzgerald manages to define, praise, and condemn what is known as the American Dream in his most successful novel, The Great Gatsby. The novel is set inand it depicts the American Dream--and its demise--through the use of literary devices and symbols. One literary device he uses to depict the American Dream is motif; one motif is geography as represented by East and West Egg.
Create your Fan Badge Criticism of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby The American Dream--as it arose in the Colonial period and developed in the nineteenth century--was based on the assumption that each person, no matter what his origins, could succeed in life on the sole basis of his or her own skill and effort.
The dream was embodied in the ideal of the self-made man. The Great Gatsby is a novel about what happened to the American dream in the s, a period when the old values that gave substance to the dream had been corrupted by the vulgar pursuit of wealth.
The characters are Midwesterners who have come East in pursuit of this new dream of money, fame, success, glamour, and excitement. What was once--for Ben Franklin, for example, or Thomas Jefferson--a belief in self-reliance and hard work has become what Nick Carraway calls " How is this developed?
I have tried to indicate in the chapter-by-chapter analysis, especially in the Notes, that Fitzgerald's critique of the dream of success is developed primarily through the five central characters and through certain dominant images and symbols. The book 'The Great Gatsby' by F.
Scott Fitzgerald was an 'icon of its time.
The novel is 'an exploration of the American Dream as it exists in a corrupt period of history. The Great Gatsby describes the decay of the American Dream and the want for money and materialism. This novel also describes the gap between the rich and the poor Gatsby and the Wilsons, West Egg and the Valley of the Ashes by comparing the differences between the Western United States traditional western culture and the Eastern United States money obsessed values.
On a smaller scale this could be seen as the difference between the West Egg the 'new, money and the East egg the 'old' money. The 's were a time of corruption and the degradation of moral values for the United States and many other countries. World War One had just ended and people were reveling in the materialism that came with the end of it, new mass produced commodities such as motor cars and radios were filling people's driveways and houses, money was more accessible before the Great Depression.
Cars were becoming a social symbol in the s as we can see with Gatsby's five cars, one of which he gives to Nick and one of which kills Myrtle Wilson later on in the novel. Herbert Hoover an American President said in "We will root out poverty and put two cars in every garage.
Gatsby would hide in the house while the 'guests', most of whom were not even invited, would party, eat and drink until the early hours of the morning without even meeting the guest or even knowing who he was.
People would turn up just to be seen or reported in the local newspapers "In his blue garden people came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne.
Another quote about the parties refers to the way the guests devour the endless supply of food and never give a thought as to who gave it to them. The last one was the one I met you at, answered the girl in an alert, confident voice. She turned to her companion: It was for Lucille too.
I like to come, Lucille said I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. Gatsby gets his fortune through the illegal sale of alcohol 'bootlegging'.
The sale of alcohol was prohibited in the United States in the s. Gatsby came from the western United States where there was 'old money. Gatsby's house is a rather artificial place, the house was originally built to impress Daisy with his so-called wealth, and this is a sign of a corrupt way of 'winning' love through money and wealth.
Gatsby's house is furnished well with old looking ornaments and probably second hand antiques, Gatsby's house also has a library which is full of 'uncut' literature.
The conversation between Jordan and an unnamed man at one of Gatsby's parties talks about the books: I'd thought they'd be a nice durable cardboard.
Gatsby's love life is also a sign of declining morals, and also a sign of further corruption of the American Dream.
Daisy has an affair with Gatsby; Gatsby then gets concerned that Daisy does not tell Tom about her affair with him in chapter six. Eventually Daisy tells Tom about her affair with Jay Gatsby.
The climax of the story comes when Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy never loved him. The fall of the American Dream and corruption is also evident in the position and treatment of children in the story, Daisy and Tom's daughter, Pammy, is treated as an object to show off rather than a child to love.
Gatsby had never really known of the existence of Daisy's child, as Daisy was probably afraid to tell him about her. I don't think he had ever really believed it it's existence before.
Daisy uses the child as a show item: When the child speaks to Daisy, Daisy never answers or replies to her. Daisy always changes the subject as if she doesn't even notice the child is there.PDF downloads of all LitCharts literature guides, Get everything you need to know about The American Dream in The Great Gatsby.
Analysis, related quotes, theme tracking. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Upgrade to A + Download this Lit Guide! (PDF) Introduction. Plot Summary. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses a variety of literary devices to portray the American Dream.
One example is the the green light that symbolizes Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for a life with Daisy. A summary of Motifs in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Great Gatsby and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about .
Introduction “The Great Gatsby” is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in , it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of The Great Gatsby is a very interesting story set in the s that exhibits things like love, fame, and fortune.
The story reveals a tale of love that can never grow between Gatsby and Daisy but even bigger than that is the theme of the demise of the American dream.