Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

The of The Great Gatsby divides characters

The ‘Roaring Twenties’ was a decade of dreams. An economic boom brought great prosperity to many, and a focus on celebrity and exuberance flourished. From a glance, the Twenties were flawless; they were filled with a collapse of traditional morals and new technological advancements depicting those years as progressive. People globally, as well as characters depicted in The Great Gatsby, were filled with hope and ambition for the American Dream, desiring a “new” life. However, underneath the decade’s glitz and glamour was a broken society. Throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays distinct characters, significant symbols, and modernist themes to reveal why the American Dream is ultimately unattainable.To begin, the entire storyline of The Great Gatsby divides characters into inescapable social classes based on wealth, resulting in every character being separate from another.  Every setting represents a form of money and shows the dissimilarity between the characters. East Egg represents ‘old money’ and is home to the characters Tom and Daisy Buchanan, as well as Jordan Baker, all of whom have had money for their lifetime. Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway reside on West Egg with ‘new money’ which they have labored extensively for. Those who live in the Valley of Ashes, such as George and Myrtle Wilson, have no money, and are barely sustaining themselves. While Gatsby is discussing with Nick at the Buchanan’s abode waiting for Daisy to profess her lack of love for Tom, Gatsby states “Her Daisy voice is full of money” ( ). At this moment, Gatsby realizes that wealth is a part of Daisy, just as an organ is. Never in her life has she been without her inheritance. Gatsby recognizes that he will never be the same as Daisy no matter his own income, pushing Daisy, his American Dream, farther from his grasp.  In another instance, while Tom and Gatsby are arguing over Daisy’s love, Tom proclaims,”I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out” ( ). Even after Gatsby had attained immense wealth and status, all for Daisy, he couldn’t escape his poor past. A final moment of fixed status is when George Wilson discovers that Myrtle is having an affair. He confides in his neighbor, “I’ve got my wife locked in up there… She’s going to stay there till the day after tomorrow, and then we’re going to move away” ( ). This action weakens Myrtle’s dream of becoming prosperous with Tom by her side. She no longer has free reign and an unknowing husband. It is from her oppressing situation, Myrtle attempts to abandon George and is killed by an oncoming car, completely obliterating her American Dream. As can be seen, an absence of alikeness causes a collapse of American Dreams.As well as fixing every character into a distinct social status, Fitzgerald uses powerful symbols to convey the realities of his character’s fallacious dreams. Over the course of the novel, Gatsby’s dream of Daisy is represented by a green light at the end of her dock. The truth of this light is explained when Nick states, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” ( ). Every step Gatsby takes towards pursuing his dream, places him three steps further away. Gatsby uses all of his effort into securing Daisy, with his tremendous hope always eluding him. His dream is and always will be unreachable. Equally important is the continual glare of an advertisement for a wealthy optometrist shown, “…above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg” ( ). Not one individual in the Valley of Ashes can possibly afford a costly appointment with Doctor Eckleburg, but his eyes forever loom over the struggling community, illustrating the impossible appeal that is the American Dream. Generally speaking, Fitzgerald’s use of symbols notably demonstrate realities of the American Dream.Equally influential is how Fitzgerald involves illegality, failure, poor relationships, and materialism throughout The Great Gatsby. Although the novel’s title describes Gatsby as ‘great,’ he is far from it. Gatsby obtains his sum of money through criminal activities, including bootlegging (141).


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