Corruption of Society in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
Uploaded by selenatrichel on Jan 08, 2007
In this paper, I will prove that the novel The Great Gatsby shows the American Dream as a corrupt idea. My proof will be based upon the juxtaposition of Jay Gatsby's and Myrtle Wilson's deaths, the wealth of Jay Gatsby and his desire for Daisy, and the immoral actions of the characters in this novel. When writing The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald made a point to reflect his feeling that the American Dream could not be reached because it is an imperfect and corrupt idea. He used his characters to do so. Fitzgerald's characters are divided into three groups, each of which shows a different perspective of Fitzgerald's theme. The wealthy are portrayed in two groups: the East Eggers and the West Eggers. The East Eggers are old money and look down upon the West Eggers because they are new money. This relationship demonstrates the corruption of the American Dream through the discrimination by the East Eggers and through the crooked ways that the West Eggers have found to get rich. The poor in the novel, represented by George and Myrtle Wilson, show the longing for wealth and their dishonest chase of that dream. Because this novel is written mostly around the wealthy of New York, the flaws of the American Dream are easy to recognize.
Fitzgerald shows the idea that the American Dream is flawed through the juxtaposed deaths of Jay and Myrtle. The juxtaposition of Jay and Myrtle's deaths is realized through looking at their history. In The Great Gatsby, Jay is a man who comes from no money. In his early twenties, when he meets Daisy who is of an aristocratic family, Jay decides that he will do anything he must to make enough money to marry Daisy. When the action of this novel begins, Jay has already worked his way up to a wealthy lifestyle and is in the process of getting Daisy to fall in love with him again. Immediately in the first chapter, we see that Jay is living the American Dream when Nick describes his mansion as a colossal affair¦spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. Although Jay is living the American Dream in all of his wealth, he is unhappy without the love of Daisy. At the opposite cliche, Myrtle Wilson is very poor. Myrtle lives...