The Great Gatsby - Term Paper in British and American Literature
The Great GatsbyAmerican Dream, Materialism and Moral Decay: A glimpse of life during the 20th Century America. A Partial Requirement in British and American Literature Submitted by: Denmark Aleluya BSEd – English III Submitted to: Dr. Jesusa Ballesteros Professor October 20, 2012 St. Joseph’s College of Quezon CityIntroduction:
The 20th American Century can be surmised as a historical milieu that captures the vivid transitionof the traditional American society to the ideally modern structure of living. It is fundamentallycharacterized as the era of revolution and rebellion in conjunction with the propitious events that has beenshowered over America following the remnants of World War I. The era was historically characterizedfurther as a general change over the structure of the American society from politics to peasants, frombusiness to literature. Extensively, one of the modifications that had been observed is the immediategrowth of affluent individuals following the sudden soar of the economy. Credit cards were easilyaccessed and it provided the Americans the easy means to procure what they needed at the affordableexpense. With the rise of money, materialism paralleled as companies started to mushroom everywhere. “During the 1920s everybody seemed to be buying everything, and businesses set out to meet the demands of consumers, producing new products in record-breaking quantities. Cars, radios, appliances, ready-made clothes, gadgets, and other consumer products found their way into more and more American homes and garages. Americans also started buying stocks in greater numbers, providing capital to already booming companies.”Evidently, the rise of materialism has gone its way initially as a motivator to strive harder in life yet it alsocaused a rebellion against the morals and manners of the traditional society. Youths went firmly vocalagainst the strict norms of the old aged as they scandalized themselves publicly. The right of the womanand their liberation from social inequality, which is also a major event that drew a line in the Americanhistory, has also paved the way for them to courageously express themselves. Rebellion over the stringentnorms spoke itself in an augmented number of young women who smoked cigarettes and drank illegalbootleg whiskey and bathtub gin. They also had their hair dyed. As wealthy individuals moved from dusty counties to the ideal cities, so do their old perspectivesin life pares itself and changed ultimately as they see themselves gearing towards a new and civilized life.Wealthy individuals who lived in the city see themselves as living the “American Dream”. These
individuals are separated from the outlook of those who chose to maintain a simple life in provinces aspeasants. Both of them have their own description against each other. On one hand, the wealthy peopleaddress them “hicks or bumpkins” while on the other hand, provincial dwellers see the cities as places ofdegradation, immorality, and “foreign” influences. The historical milieu of the 1920’s is an essential background that shows the strong bond betweenF. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” and the perfect picture of how people lived the AmericanDream. Considerably, the strands that hold them together brings a significant overview about howsuccessfully the transition of American life has took its place away from the conventional norms of theold. Furthermore, it also represents the attitudes of the individuals, particularly the wealthy ones, if theydo separate themselves from the old conventions of people. The characters, which have been a majorsymbolism of the novel, should lastly be given a remarkable analysis along with the societal aura thathovers in it.THE GREAT GATSBYThe Characters:Jay Gatsby - a mysterious man of thirty who holds ostentatious parties in his colossal mansion in WestEgg Village, Long Island. He is an aloof and fine man who becomes a major gossip across the LongIsland regarding the whereabouts of his sudden wealth. He grew up in North Dakota and got educated inSt. Olaf’s College in Minnesota where he used to work as a janitor. He entered the Military force andbecame Lieutenant at Louisville, Kentucky. After meeting Dan Cody, a sea-farer whom he wasapprenticed to, he inherited 25,000 dollars from him when Dan died but was not able to get it because ofDan’s mistress named Ella Kaye’s doing. He tries to win back Daisy Buchanan, a married woman, torevive their previous love during his military days.
Nick Carraway - the narrator of the story. Nick deems himself as a morally-upright person who tries tohold his criticism about other people. Grew up himself a Midwesterner exposed to his father’s business,he tries to seek his luck as bond seller in New York. He lives in West Egg, Long Island, and a neighbor ofJay Gatsby. Nick is a humorous yet quiet soul who only listens to other’s words and does not care ifsomeone listens to what he says or not. He is drawn to Jordan Baker, a professional golf player but laterfeels his admiration recede due to personal reasons. He is the cousin of Daisy Buchanan.Tom Buchanan - The husband of Daisy Buchanan. He is an affluent yet arrogant and tactless guy wholives in the East Egg. He has a tough body and a husky voice and moves harshly. He is a sturdy haired-man of thirty, with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. His large body seems to alwaysforward progressively. He has a mistress named Myrtle Wilson.Daisy Buchanan - The wife of Tom Buchanan and the cousin of Nick Carraway. She is an alluringwoman of beauty who has grown up wealthy when she was still young. She grew up in Louisville,Kentucky wherein she was surrounded by multitude eyes of militaries based near her house. She had apast relationship with Jay Gatsby but ending up marrying Tom after growing tried of waiting for Jay toarrive for a mission. On the other hand, she is a boring rich girl who chases and speaks money all thetime.Myrtle Wilson - The mistress of Tom Buchanan. She is a plump and stout girl who is married to GeorgeWilson. She resides in the “ash of valley” found in the poor-stricken avenues of New York. She is a jollygirl, possesses great vitality, who dreams to live a wealthy life out of the miserable condition she feels inher small and dirty dwelling in New York. She dreams to be Tom’s priority and puts a parallel importanceto the wealth of Tom beside his love with him.George Wilson –The husband of Myrtle. He works as a car operator near their house right beside the road.He is a handsome and aloof guy yet he looks like a poor, dirty old man that lacks vitality. He found outthat Myrtle had an extra-marital affair with someone and sent him out of the house.
Jordan Baker – The love interest of Nock Carraway. Jordan is a sweet and bubbly girl who plays as aprofessional golfer. She is a close friend of Daisy. She attends parties, herself as well an affluent girl,dated Nick for a while and receded mostly as a flat character. Nick describes her as a dishonest womanwho always had the same behavior with Daisy and Tom.Mr. Meyer Wolfshiem – an associate partner of Jay Gatsby in a secret business arrangement. He is astrange man who speaks largely with an indiscernible accent. He was said to be the leader of abootlegging company.Mr. Owl Eyes – a weird random man who wears thick spectacles. He writes a book, one of this hepresented Nick when they were in the library. He is a seriously drunkard being who acts very oddly.Mr. Gatz – The father of Jay Gatsby who appeared at the latter part of the story. He is an old man whohas eyes that does not fear or marvel at the scenes of death.
The Summary: Nick Carraway arrives at West Egg, Long Island at his house sandwiched between two large andostentatious mansions beside him. West Egg is the haven for the “newly-rich people”. His house, a smallhumble one keeps him accessible from traveling to New York than any place. He opted to visit his cousinDaisy Buchanan and his husband Tom. They live across the next village called the East Egg. The villagesare separated by a small body of water. Upon arriving, he observed that everything seemed newer and better. The aristocracy and classwas very much pronounced in the houses of the “old” rich who usually lives in the East Egg. Tom andDaisy welcomed her together with a gorgeous woman named Jordan Baker. Tom looked older yet hisarrogance was still true to him. He is a gorgeous man. Daisy on the other hand looked beautiful and theirbaby was adorable. However, none of them seemed to have an interest with one another. Evidently, duringthe meal, Tom went inside after having called by his assistant. Daisy walked to follow him while Jordantells him that it was his mistress who phoned. Arriving at home, he saw a man standing afar a distant in his lawn. He is staring intently in thegreen light, seemingly reaching his hand before it fades gradually in the dark. He realizes that it was Mr.Gatsby. Traveling New York, Tom and Nick has always passed by this “valley of ashes”, a poor-strickencommunity beside the alley. Upon entering the avenue, a large protruding bluish eyes of Dr. E. J.Eckleberg from a billboard atop looks at them sneeringly. Tom invited him one day to see Myrtle Wilson,her mistress. She is a plump and stout girl without any hints of external beauty but with a certain degreeof vitality. They opted to go to Myrtle’s sister, Catherine. Before they arrived, Myrtle asked Tom to buyhim a cute dog which he did.
They drank in the middle of the afternoon inside Catherine’s apartment together with a horridcouple named Mr. and Mrs. Mckee When Myrtle got terribly drunk, he started pissing off Tom by callingDaisy’s name repeatedly. Tom smacked her in the face which instantly bled her nose profusely. Nickwanted to elude at the said gathering but he never had the bare chance. He left at 4:00 am by the morningtrain back to Long Island. That morning, a chauffer from the Mr. Gatsby’s house came to send a letter that cordially inviteshim to the mysterious guy’s parties. Bewildered, Nick recollects about how majestically he throws partiesto people, the grandiosity made by numerous cars, queues of buffets and insatiable trays of fresh orangesand wines over spilling night by night. He goes to his house in the evening and inquired some of thevisitors, which basically came from both the side of villages, about the host’s whereabouts but no onereplied with a positive answer. There were lots of people inside and he wondered if all of them got a realand proper invitation from him. Luckily, he saw Jordan Baker, approached her and ask if she saw the popular Mr. Gatsby, towhich she replied not. However, one of her friends name Lucille told something about his past - that hehas gone to Oxford and got all his wealth instantly from engaging in an anomalous business together withan anonymous individual. She also told him that he did kill someone. Fortunately, Jordan and Nick wereable to talk to him. Nick found out that they were of the same age and he also attended the military schoolhe went in. Mr. Gatsby, on the other hand, requested Jordan to talk to him privately. Morning comes and Mr. Gatsby together with Nick rode in a flying voyage after an invitationfrom the former the night before Nick went home. Consequently, Gatsby narrates his story of life to Nickwhen they were traveling the roads for a business rendezvous. At first, Nick did not believe about whatGatsby were saying following the rumors that he learned from other people. Gatsby presented pictureswhen he was in Oxford and a medal when he was awarded in Montenegro.
Arriving at the restaurant, Nick met Meyer Wolfshiem. Mr. Gatsby and the guy talked for amoment secretly about the business. After that M. Wolfshiem tells a brief story about Gatsby – that heactually educated him and supported him in the business world when he was just starting. He saw JordanBaker on the said restaurant. She told him about what Mr. Gatsby told her. He learned that Mr. Gatsby andDaisy had already met during his military days. He asked Jordan to tell Nick that he wants him to inviteDaisy for a tea. He saw Mr. Gatsby approaching him the night when he arrived from work. Gatsby wasagitated and uncomfortable. He felt excited and happy after seeing him nod about his request. He askshim to go to Coney Island then for a swim in a pool. He also offered him a work at Mr. Wolfshiem but herefused all of it. The next day the rain poured hard and Gatsby once again feels agitated about the day to finallysee her. However, when she got in, he did not see Gatsby because he crossed out for a while and got wet.They finally talked to each other. When Nick initially peered, there were still oddness between them but itwas changed with happiness and laughter when he peered again for the second time. Meanwhile, the popularity of Jay Gatsby has already reached the national media. It is notsurprising therefore that one day, a media men knocked at the door for an interview of Mr. Gatsbyhimself. Nick Carraway cuts the interview with a narration of James Gatsby’s life. Nick tells that Jay Gatsby has a real name called James Gatz. He was born on a vast peasantry atNorth Dakota and educated himself in St. Olaf’s college. However, he dropped out of school, two weekslater for he hated the janitorial work he was tasked to in exchange with the payments for his tuition fee.On summer, he worked at Lake Superior fishing for salmon and digging for clams. It is where he met DanCody, a wealthy copper mogul, who happened to sail himself towards the shore of the said Lake. JayGatsby warned him of the impending storm which made Dan Cody felt grateful. He then took care of theyoung Gatz, who gave his name as Jay Gatsby, as an apprentice in the ship. He looked after Cody andcared for him especially when he was sorely drunk. This difficulty has made Gatz to avoid trying a sip of
alcoholic drink. Sooner, Dan Cody died. He was left of a $25,000 and an education but Cody’s mistressnamed Ella Kaye barred him from claiming his inheritance. He decided to embark on business after andbecome a wealthy man. Nick was alarmed to see Tom Buchanan at Gatsby’s house when he happened to visit them in arandom afternoon. Together with the Sloanes, Tom’s riding buddies and Daisy, he invited them to have ameal at the house but Tom refused. Tom was clearly disgusted by Gatsby’s lack of social grace and highlyindignant and puzzled about Daisy’s often visiting him in his house. Gatsby, agitated as well, speaks thathe knew Daisy long time before they had actually met. He become suspicious but the real deal – Daisyand Gatsby’s secret affair – has yet to come. That night, Tom and Daisy attended Gatsby’s party. Tom was still highly suspicious aboutsomething that hovers between Daisy and Gatsby that’s why he kept an eye on her for the whole party.Daisy felt unreasonably unhappy about Tom’s stubbornness and felt out of mood. Nick also felt the same.The couple eluded off the party earlier than expected. Gatsby chased after them but he failed to see them.He was terribly lonely and thought that he need to bring back the past – the romantic days of Louisville.Nick tells him that he cannot bring back the past as it is anymore but Gatsby thought it wrong. He tellshim that with his money, he can pull it all over again as far as Daisy’s happiness is concerned. As heretreats, Nick thought about the first time Gatsby kissed Daisy, the moment when his dream of Daisybecome the dominant force of his life. Now that he has her, Nick concludes, his dream has come to anend. Drawn still by his passionate love for Daisy, Gatsby stopped his grand parties and lures backDaisy. He also fired all his maidservants to avoid the gossips that may put Daisy in the height of a maritalissue. Nick founds out one day that Gatsby and Jordan Baker also attended the meal the Buchanancouples have arranged. When the maidservant brings in Daisy’s baby, Gatsby was shocked and thought
that the child was not real. Seeing the baby, Daisy shows no interest about her and asked to go with themaid inside the house. While eating, Daisy felt bored about the mundane afternoon and invited Gatsby to go to NewYork. Gatsby throws a passionate stare directly on her and Tom saw the spark in his eyes. He was certainthat there was something between them. Exasperated, Tom grabs Daisy’s invitation and pursued it. All ofthem got into their cars. Nick rides with Jordan and Tom in Gatsby’s car, and Gatsby and Daisy ridetogether in Tom’s car. Stopping for a gas refill near the house of the Wilsons, Nick, Jordan and Tomlearned that George already knew the affairs Myrtle has with someone else he was not certain about. Heplans to move him in the West. Nick thought Tom and George the same in the brooding eyes of Dr. T.J.Eckleburg. The scorching heat coincided with the heat of the situation they got in the Plaza Hotel they rentedas a place of resting. Tom confronts Gatsby about his usage of “old sport” and his allegedly uncleanwealth that came from illegal business of bootlegging. As the intense confrontation grew up, Gatsby wasforced to tell about their past love and told Tom that Daisy does not love her. Meanwhile, Daisy was inthe middle of confusion and she was forced to tell Gatsby that he did love Tom and that’s what matterednow. She also told him that she would not elude with him. She was profusely sobbing. Tom realized thathe apparently bested his rival Gatsby so he sent them back to Long Island. Gatsby was with Daisy on thecar. Before the commotion was over, Nick realizes that it was already his thirtieth birthday. Heading home, Jordan, Nick and Tom saw a tragic incident where a woman got fatally hit by anautomobile. They learned later that it was Myrtle Wilson who died. It was confirmed by Michaelis, aGreek man who owns a restaurant nearby the said incident. He said that the car hit her, paused and spedquickly. Nick later realized that the yellow automobile of Jay Gatsby must have hit her when he wastraveling back to Long Island with Daisy. He also thought that Gatsby was the driver.
Back at Tom’s house, Nick sees Gatsby in the bushes and learned that he was there to guard andlook after Daisy. He asked Nick to see her inside. Nick saw Daisy and Tom together sitting on the bed,holding both arms and staring intently at each other seemingly contriving a plan. Reporting back, Gatsbystayed standing in the dark while Nick rides a cab heading West Egg. Morning came and Nick did not get a real sleep. He goes up and felt restless so he went overGatsby’s house. Gatsby tells him that he stayed there until 4:00 am but Daisy did not go out and Tom didnot hurt him. Nick tells him to leave Long Island and find a new life away from the shadows of Daisy buthe called off the idea telling that turning away would also mean surrendering from getting Daisy’s loveback. He consequently narrates her past with Daisy in 1917 back in Louisville. He loved her for her youthand vitality, and idolized her social position, wealth, and popularity. He adds that every military laid eyeson her and that’s what made her even special to his eyes. He won her love against the others who werecourting her as well. He even lied about his social position just to make her easy to love him. Hepromised to go back after the war and Daisy waited long enough and got tired. He eventually marriedTom Buchanan, a wealthy man whose social position was solid and had her parents’ approval. The story was interrupted by Gatsby’s gardener asking if he can drain the pool. Gatsby told himto wait for a day because he has not used the pool himself. Meanwhile, Nick bids goodbye for work. Distracted and restless, Nick gets out of the office and even refused to see Jordan Baker. Thenarration then shifts to the aftermath of Myrtle Wilson’s death where George felt despondent about. Hestayed up all night and was accompanied by Michaelis and tried to lighten his mood by asking himquestions. George tells that he had an argument with Myrtle before the said accident telling that healready knew her affair with someone. He tells that she can’t hide it from the eyes of God. The morning,he stares at the blank surrounding from his window and saw the odd illumination of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’seyes. He was overwhelmed by it and believes that they are the eyes of God and concludes that whoever
the guy in the car was his lover. He surmised that God commanded him to avenge Myrtle’s death so shetraced back the car. He goes to Tom because he surely knows the owner of the car. He saw him driving the same carearlier but he was reluctant that it was him who drove it the day Myrtle got hit because he was usinganother car and they arrived at the scene after the incident happened. He later goes to Gatsby’s mansionand seeing him standing nearby the pool, he shoots him which instantly killed him and shoots himselfafter. Nick hurries back to Gatsby’s house and saw Gatsby’s already floating body dead in the pool.Nick vividly pictures him as disillusioned by his strong hope to win Daisy’s love back and felt lonelyabout the emptiness of life without having her – his unattained dream.Analysis: The story pronounced a simple portrayal of the societal structure that was in transition during the1920’s. The setting primarily depicted a vivid representation about the demarcation line that sets peoplefrom various social positions. The Long Island was a symbolic representation of America furtherseparated into two villages called the West Egg and East Egg. One hand, the West Egg village, as whatNick Carraway depicted, was “the less fashionable of the two (11). West Egg is “the haven for the“newly-rich” people, those who have gained their wealth recently”. The houses are characterized by alavish and luxuriant style which is largely ostentatious. The West Eggers, those who live In West Egg
are depicted as pretentious people who lack social connections and aristocratic pedigrees. On theopposite side, the East Egg is home to the “old-rich people who had gained their wealth for a long time”.East Eggers are sophisticated classy people who do not necessarily flaunt their affluence to everyone.Their houses are fashioned in an aristocratic manner with a touch of majestic sensibility. The West Egg Village primarily reflects those Americans who have high regards over AmericanDream and tries to fit themselves in the circle of the “newly-civilized” people. Scott depicts theaugmenting number of people who have considered themselves wealthy due to accessibility of creditcards. The houses of West Eggers are said to be garishly ostentatious which intelligently symbolizes theexcessive way of life the Americans plunge themselves into during these era. Mr. Gatsby is a symbolicalcharacter who represents the showy people who flaunt their wealth by means of availing themselvesmaterials who aren’t supposedly needed for daily life. Similarly, the sumptuous parties held in thecolossal mansion of Mr. Gatsby represents superfluous gatherings in a great effort to convey a messagethat he belongs to the rich community. However, the character of Nick is an exception. Even if he lives right before Gatsby’s mansion,he still chooses to be simple. It is similarly connected to his description of himself told at the first pagesof Chapter 1. He is morally-upright yet he holds judgment about people. He does not care much if he’sdealing with the East Eggers or the West Eggers as what his relationship with Tom and Daisy Buchanan(East Eggers) and Jay Gatsby (West Egger) reflects. He never set a demarcation line between what heobserved between the two except that he only kept his judgment within him. Meanwhile, the East Eggers symbolizes the people who have longed established their names inthe rung of the city-dwellers. The 1920 keeps a societal account about how wealthy individuals stride upto the hierarchy of the classy and the sophisticated. The houses do represent the modern touch of theirlife. East Eggers, represented by Daisy and Tom Buchanan represents the wealthy individuals who onlygo after material possession and sees money as their priority.
Another social class is depicted in Chapter 2 when Tom and Nick enter the dismal avenues ofNew York. Nick calls it “the valley of ashes”. “This is valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills andgrotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, witha transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.”(29) The place apparently gives an immediate picture about a seemingly scornful place something thatleaves a person to wonder why such place exists amidst the grandiosity and ornamentation of villages inthe Long Island. The geography tells that the valley is located half way between New York and LongIsland. It is the haven of the poor people where inordinate desolation is very much apparent.Symbolically, the place conveys the moral decay – the representation of spiritual loss hidden by thecharms and perfection of the villages of Long Island. Its ugliness speaks the foul odor of the Americansexperiencing the pleasure that materialism has to offer and forgets sensibility and spiritual uprightness.The Pursuit for American Dream The 1920 is central to the philosophy of living the American Dream. It means experiencing aluxurious life; living at the most comfortable and getting whatever you want even if it meantexcessiveness and material greed. In the novel, Jay Gatsby is very much associated with the AmericanDream. His extravagant parties during mundane nights coincide with the unreasonable waste of money tomake himself known to everyone. Mr. Gatsby represents the people who gained money just for the sakeof advertising themselves to everyone for reasons of social acceptance and social popularity. However, it became crystal clear that Gatsby was only partly after social hierarchy but primarilyafter a woman’s acceptance – Daisy. By using his money and wealth, he is able to raise his bar atop therung of social ladder and thus became instantly popular. His means are remarkably useful as he becameone of the major rumors not only in Long Island but also across New York. He wanted Daisy to know him
and realize that he has already gained material success which enables him to win his heart back. A scenewhere Nick tries to persuade him to leave Long Island and start a new life was an evident to this. Herefused to leave because he knows he can win Daisy’s love back by the use of material possessions hehas. He can provide her whatever he wants if that would be the case. Clearly, Gatsby’s American dream is symbolically represented by two relevant things. On onehand is wealth and social class while on the other is Daisy. Both of these dream is represented by thegreen light that Mr. Gatsby was marveling at in the end of Chapter 1. It is also clear that Gatsby was notable to attain his very goal – to win Daisy back. As suggested by the last paragraph of the novel:"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded usthen, but thats no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one finemorning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."Materialism One of the most striking themes of the novel is the manifestation of materialistic tone. The novelprimarily is a story of wealthy characters. Jay Gatsby, on one hand, has apparently proven himself as oneby holding excessive parties where both East and West Eggers attend. On the other hand, Tom and DaisyBuchanan are affluent individuals who have already established a popular name. On the first chapter weinfer that Tom has been rich because he… Meanwhile, Daisy, on Chapter , has described by Nick as anheir of her wealthy parents. In the story materialism is equated by lavishness of money as a way of showing off that they havesomething that every man wants. Jay Gatsby’s expensive parties have gone too heard the corners of everysocial talks. As a result, Jay Gatsby gains ineffable popularity across Long Island and New York.Remarkably, there is a relationship between money and popularity where Jay Gatsby capitalizes money tobargain himself the fame that he wants. He heedlessly utilizes money for the sake of completing asignificant part of himself, which is Daisy.
On the other hand, the couples Daisy and Tom Buchanan are nothing but selfishly driven bymaterial possessions. Tom is a harsh person; he does not do anything except suffice his earthly capricesand indulge in an extra-marital affair with Myrtle Wilson. On the other hand, Daisy Buchanan is a boringand superficial woman who only wants to pre-occupy herself with the things about money and social life.She barely thinks about the married life or even care for her baby. Myrtle Wilson, the concubine of Tom can also be seen as a greedy person. She wants to linger byTom’s side in attaining the dream of being his priority over Daisy. She felt miserable living in a barrenplace “the ash heap” to whom Nick has depicted. She wants to get away from the difficulties of beingwedded to a weak, almost non-existing person by the name of George. Her inner motive therefore can beseen as materially-driven. She sees future ahead her with Tom happily living in one of the mansions in adistant picture.Romance Although the theme of love seemed to have been blurred by a great reflection of American dreamand an insatiable greed for material possession, the story would have been completely out of tone ifromance would slip away. The context of romance is very much original and symbolical and as a matterof fact a structure that has proven itself realistic. In the case of Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy, we know for the fact that he is driven with atremendous adoration for Daisy Buchanan tracing back the previous affair they had in Louisville. NickCarraway was basically mystified by his presence at first but after Jay Gatsby opened up to him, he feltreally amazed about how far his love went and how great his deeds were just to pave the path leading toher. The reasons from which we can infer may come from his great loss and remorse about leaving Daisyfor war when they were still together. His efforts surely reflected his love for her and his efforts finallypaid off when he saw Daisy.
However, the green light in the first chapter where Gatsby is seen reaching almost worshippingbefore it has reflected that his love for Daisy was beyond his life, something ineffable, something largethan everyone has thought. On Chapter…, Tom and Gatsby had a commotion about Daisy. First, Tom wasreally pissed off about Gatsby’s presence and the obvious eerie aura between the stares of Gatsby andDaisy. Secondly, Gatsby was also infuriated about Tom’s attitude that he jolted the truth between him andDaisy. The succeeding parts, (Chapter) however, shows that Daisy decided to go with her husband, Tom.This was when the accident happened and Daisy and Tom was seen by Nick in a room looking intently ateach other seemingly contriving a plan. The later chapters verified that Daisy go together with Tom inescape to the road accident killing Myrtle Wilson. Gatsby did anything to win Daisy back. From his majestic parties to small invitations, the onlything that actually lacked is saying it officially. However, after the incident, he knew very much that thepast Daisy was not the current Daisy whom she is chasing after. He failed to realize that his major dream– renewing his love for Daisy – is not anymore possible to attain. He realized that the new “Daisy” wasnothing but the Daisy Buchanan who has changed a lot from the very day they departed. However he wasvery persistent about her even if he knows that the green light (his dream of reconciling with Daisy) isalready bleak. Even if Nick Carraway on Chapter tells that he should opt for getting a new life outside theLong Island, he still hoped for anything positive to come. Contrast to the said passionate love is the remnant of an extra-marital affair between Tomand Myrtle. Tom knew that Myrtle is just a fling, someone that only adds spice to his married life but henever prioritized her. Myrtle on the other hand wants the opposite thing that Tom cannot give. Tom’sexasperation towards Jay Gatsby’s relationship with his wife has obviously spoken about it. When MyrtleWilson died, he seemingly felt no grave emotions at all, as if she was just an ordinary woman whom shehad known through his husband, George.Moral Decay
The perspective of morality is primarily represented by the “ash valley” in the dirty avenuesheading New York. In the Chapter 2, Nick Carraway describes it as a desolate and poverty-stricken placewhere ashes turn to houses and later turn to dismal people. The place is fundamentally seen at the middleof Long Island and New York which symbolically represents the odor or the degradation of the people’sattitudes. The characters are mainly the representatives of their social class and therefore what is true tothem is also true to most of the people on the same class. In the context of Tom, his values diminish whenhe makes an extra-marital affair with Myrtle Wilson. On the other hand, Daisy has been really fond of thecomforts that money has to offer. She fakes herself the real use of money and becomes excessively drawnto everything as long as it gives her money. Chapter 2 also mentioned about Dr. E.J. Eckleburg whose eyes are protruding and large and itseemingly stares at you intently. Daisy spoke something about advertisement and it actually tells that hiseyes are looking toward them representing the eyes of the critic. The doctor’s eyes seemingly scorn them.On the other hand, it was seen as the eyes of God in the last chapter’s when George Wilson caught theglint of its eyes. He told himself that God wants a revenge leading him to shoot Jay Gatsby and heafterwards.
Conclusion: The Great Gatsby reflects the prevalence of the spirit of the profound change that happened inAmerica. The characters, on one hand, are representation of differing social classes and how they livetheir respective lives. The pursuit for American Dream is also mirrored through Jay Gatsby. The societalstructure that hovers around the story is very pronounced. Remarkably, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald did itwas indeed comprehensible. It gives one an indispensable knowledge about the historical milieu that wasprevalent during the roaring twenties.