In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s in America as an era of “decayed social and moral values,” evidenced in its greed and pursuit of pleasure. The reckless elation and enthusiasm that led to wild parties and jazz (like the extravagant, over-the-top parties Gatsby throws in the novel) resulted in the corruption of the American dream. The American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness, and the desire for money and status have corrupted this dream, as it has Gatsby’s.
The Great Gatsby is a symbolic contemplation of America in the 1920s regarding the collapse of the American dream in an era of prosperity and wealth. The ending of World War I in 1918 soon led to Prohibition and the Jazz Age, which was a period of fun and carelessness for young Americans. Like Gatsby, even a person from the ...view middle of the document...
He preferred to be around those with wealth and class, like when he joined Dan Cody on his yacht and when he had spent time in Louisville with his once-lover, Daisy, when he was a young officer. As a child, he made goals to be a successful young man one day. Gatsby used to keep a book with a schedule which he believed would help him reach his dream. “‘I come across this book by accident,’ said the old man. ‘It just shows you don’t it… Jimmy was bound to get ahead’” (Gatsby’s father, 173). Gatsby actually reached his dream at a young age—he was so incredibly dedicated to make it there that he made his dream a reality sooner than the average person in the working class would. However, getting to that point in his life didn’t come with complete honesty. Gatsby dropped out of St. Olaf’s after two weeks because he could not bear the janitorial job with which he was paying his tuition. He eventually got involved with a businessman named Meyer Wolfsheim, who was involved in organized crime, and this type of illegal business became the new trend for Gatsby and a cause for his success.
Of course, having everything wasn’t always good enough when it came to the judgmental, gossipy aristocrats—you had to have a story. Rumors about Gatsby’s past surely buzzed around, but he personally tells Nick Carraway, the narrator, that he’s an Oxford man and comes from a bloodline of wealth: “I’ll tell you God’s truth… I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West—all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford…” (65). He would sometimes choke down a phrase, making his statement seem less and less believable. He was so hopeful of fitting in that he would exaggerate stories to an extent, like collecting jewels in Europe, for example (65).
Since he was a kid, Gatsby devoted his time to being proper and educated. However, one thing motivated him the most that kept him working for it and doing whatever it takes to get there; one thing motivated him to even go to extremes, and that was Daisy. Beautiful, graceful, elegant, and sophisticated, Daisy