The Nice Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, presents a important portrait of the American dream via its portrayal of the 1920s New York elite. By exploring themes of wealth, class, love and idealism, The Nice Gatsby raises highly effective questions on American concepts and society.
Wealth, Class, and Society
The Nice Gatsby‘s characters characterize the wealthiest members of 1920s New York society. Regardless of their cash, nevertheless, they aren’t portrayed as notably aspirational. As an alternative, the wealthy characters’ damaging qualities are placed on show: wastefulness, hedonism, and carelessness.
The novel additionally means that wealth just isn’t equal to social class. Tom Buchanan comes from the outdated cash elite, whereas Jay Gatsby is a self-made millionaire. Gatsby, self-conscious about his “new cash” social standing, throws unbelievably lavish events in hopes of catching Daisy Buchanan’s consideration. Nonetheless, on the novel’s conclusion, Daisy chooses to stick with Tom even if she genuinely loves Gatsby; her reasoning is that she couldn’t bear to lose the social standing that her marriage to Tom affords her. With this conclusion, Fitzgerald means that wealth alone doesn’t assure entrance into the higher echelons of elite society.
Love and Romance
In The Nice Gatsby, love is intrinsically tied to class. As a younger army officer, Gatsby fell rapidly for debutante Daisy, who promised to attend for him after the warfare. Nonetheless, any likelihood at an actual relationship was precluded by Gatsby’s decrease social standing. As an alternative of ready for Gatsby, Daisy married Tom Buchanan, an old-money East Coast elite. It’s an sad marriage of comfort: Tom has affairs and appears simply as romantically tired of Daisy as she is in him.
The concept of sad marriages of comfort isn’t restricted to the higher class. Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson, is a spirited lady in a critically mismatched marriage to a suspicious, uninteresting man. The novel means that she married him in hopes of being upwardly cellular, however as an alternative the wedding is just depressing, and Myrtle herself finally ends up lifeless. Certainly, the one sad couple to outlive “unscathed” is Daisy and Tom, who finally determine to retreat into the cocoon of wealth regardless of their marital issues.
Normally, the novel takes a reasonably cynical view of affection. Even the central romance between Daisy and Gatsby is much less a real love story and extra an outline of Gatsby’s obsessive need to relive—and even redo—his personal previous. He loves the picture of Daisy greater than the lady in entrance of him. Romantic love just isn’t a strong pressure on the planet of The Nice Gatsby.
The Lack of Idealism
Jay Gatsby is maybe one of the vital idealistic characters in literature. Nothing can deter him from his perception in the opportunity of desires and romance. In reality, his whole pursuit of wealth and affect is carried out in hopes of creating his desires come true. Nonetheless, Gatsby’s single-minded pursuit of these desires—notably his pursuit of the idealized Daisy—is the standard that in the end destroys him. After Gatsby’s demise, his funeral is attended by simply three company; the cynical “actual world” strikes on as if he’d by no means lived in any respect.
Nick Carraway additionally represents the failures of idealism via his journey from naïve Everyman observer to burgeoning cynic. At first, Nick buys into the plan reunite Daisy and Gatsby, as he believes within the energy of affection to beat class variations. The extra concerned he turns into within the social world of Gatsby and the Buchanans, nevertheless, the extra his idealism falters. He begins to see the elite social circle as careless and hurtful. By the tip of the novel, when he finds out the position Tom cheerfully performed in Gatsby’s demise, he loses any remaining hint of idealization of elite society.
The Failure of the American Dream
The American dream posits that anybody, irrespective of their origins, can work exhausting and obtain upward mobility in the US.The Nice Gatsby questions this concept via the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby. From the surface, Gatsby seems to be proof of the American dream: he’s a person of humble origins who amassed huge wealth. Nonetheless, Gatsby is depressing. His life is devoid of significant connection. And due to his humble background, he stays an outsider within the eyes of elite society. Financial achieve is feasible, Fitzgerald suggests, however class mobility just isn’t so easy, and wealth accumulation doesn’t assure a very good life.
Fitzgerald particularly critiques the American dream inside the context of the Roaring Twenties, a time when rising affluence and altering morals led to a tradition of materialism. Consequently, the characters of The Nice Gatsby equate the American dream with materials items, even if the unique concept didn’t have such an explicitly materialistic intent. The novel means that rampant consumerism and the need to eat has corroded the American social panorama and corrupted one of many nation’s foundational concepts.