To begin with, I should pay attention on Francis Scott Fitzgerald as one of the greatest American writers of the last century. Also we should admit his many-faceted talent in depicting the Post-World-War I society of the United States in his outstanding novel “The Great Gatsby”. This one is a significant part of the World Modernistic Literature being ranked the second in the World Library of the twentieth century. It is not surprising because Fitzgerald’s manner of writing is individual with many symbols, stylistic devices etc.
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The main character Jay Gatsby returns after the overpast of World War I. As we see, he is a respectable veteran being newly wealthy. He settles in “West Egg”. And this symbolizes the fragility of the US in the 1920th, which economy soared and society prospered gaining money illegally, pointing out the structure of an egg. “The business of bootlegging, in which fortunes were quickly made by evading the law, was a background of “The Great Gatsby“(From Wonderland to Wasteland 397). Like in Dreiser’s “Financier” there is a number of people wanting to become fast millionaires without aristocratic background, for example. As it was with Mr. Baker in Dreiser’s novel.
“The area between West Egg and New York City where George Wilson’s gas station is located is called a “valley of ashes.” (Gross, D., & Gross, M. 10). Ashes and crashes keep us understanding the time and atmosphere of total materialism between West and East Eggs, considering this area as one being in decline.
The antagonist has a beloved girl Daisy for whom he makes every possible attempt to hook her heart. Heart that at the very beginning until the end of the novel does not entirely belongs to Jay, unfortunately. She is very beautiful and striking. She seems to be everything for Jay as she was out of the ordinary girls.
“The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay’s house.” (The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 50)
The author tries to empress us from the very beginning tending to picture the era of corruption, shallowness and lack of morality. By means of satire he evaluates it as “Jazz Age”. This term is indicative for the US, worldwide people of this period were called “Lost Generation” claiming needlessness in people after war.
As far as I know, people are inclined to believe that illegal riches will save them legally and afterwards they will not payback. Realizing that fact Gatesby would not possibly do such wild parties. In this way he repeats the statement of one philosopher “Aim entrusts the means”. The ethos of the novel contradicts this idea as amoral and doomed to failure. Soon Jay gets the idea of it. “Daisy?” “Please don’t.” Her voice was cold, but the rancor was gone from it.”( The Great Gatsby
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By F Scott Fitzgerald 88) He emotionally comes over himself and understands that all his attempts were in vain when he sees “The Greenlight of Daisy’s dock”. This intention makes me think that in these very pictures display the author the pathos of the novel. Due to Jay’s great desire to get Daisy he prospered despite it was an illegal way of doing it. This is his great merit for sure! This is an illustration and implementation of “the American Dream”. Though, it doesn’t make him happier at all.
In my opinion, such dream is a key to solve problems and achieve highest goals in life not only for Americans but also for everyone in the world. I ought to mention that author’s literary talent forecast the crisis of The Great Depression and the aftereffect for the American economy as well. The unprecedented levels of prosperity lead to the organized crime in the novel describing the “roaring 1920-th”. Such ups provoke greater downs in growth. It is not the failure of money, but of minds. When morality loses right way, it will obligatory lead to the crisis of soul and, as a result, of economy. This is the logos of the novel. What is more, everything forgotten in past appears in present. Nowadays The World crisis projects an impression of Fitzgerald’s inerrancy showing main ideas in the novel. He through the antagonist predicts the result when people consume and on the other hand the reasons of such results.
The standpoint as well as the irony of the novel expressed in the title: “The Great Gatsby”. Why is he great? Because he has money or found ways to obtain them? Does it really give him the right to be called “The Great”?
As far as I am concerned, great people are first people of art, those who can make this world better and give the deeper understanding of world view to keep our mindset in development. They are the builders of souls and emotional perception. Good music or true pictures of something surrounding us create thoughts for us to fancy like Alice in Wonderland. In what land appeared Jay to live: Wonderland or Wasteland? Jay Gatsby leaves much to be desired.
Barrett, L. (2006). From Wonderland to Wasteland: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Great Gatsby, and the New American Fairy Tale. Papers on Language & Literature, 42(2), 150+.
Fine, S. & Brown, G. S. (Eds.). (1961). The American Past: Conflicting Interpretations of the Great Issues (Vol. 2). New York: Macmillan. Retrieved April 16, 2009, Gross, D., & Gross, M. (1998). Understanding the Great Gatsby A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, Norman Cocks, Garth Chamberlain Published by Hayes Barton Press, 1988, ISBN 1593774419, 9781593774417, 217 pages