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A critical analysis of The Great Gatsby Essay
It is every(prenominal) useless. It is like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 226). The it in this case, F Scott Fitzgeralds groundbreaking novel The salient Gatsby, refers to the sodding(a) efforts Gatsby under make fulls in his by-line for life the life he wants to live, the so- telephone called Ameri usher out day-dream. The novel is Fitzgeralds vessel of commentary and criticism of the American dream. As he paints a vivid portrait of the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald defines this Dream, and by Gatsbys downfall, expresses the futility and agony of its pursuit. Through Gatsbys longing for it, he depicts its beauty and overwhelming lure in a existencener of which the Philosopher himself would be proud.The aspects of the American Dream argon evident done tabu Fitzgeralds narrative. Take, for example, James Gatzs heavenly, nigh unbelievable rise from beating his way along the south grade down of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher (Fitzgerald 95) to the great, i.e. exc essive, Gatsby, housed in a huge affair by any standard with a tower on unmatched spot a marble swimming pool, and more than gondola cardinal acres of lawn and garden (Fitzgerald 11). The awe in which Fitzgerald symbolises his awakened phoenix all the way conveys the importance of im foldment, or at least what one thinks is improvement, in the American Dream it is non necessarily a life of excesses and wealth Fitzgerald defends as the Dream, for the audience sees clearly their detriments in the novel through Tom and Daisy, that rather a change in the style of life, reflecting the equally-American pioneering spirit.Nevertheless, wealth does sure play an central role in the American Dream. With wealth, supposedly, comes comfort, as notch mentions regarding his home I had a fancy of the water, a partial view of my neighbours lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires (Fitzgerald 11). Wealth, states Ross Possnock in his quoting of Karl Marx, is the great symmetry of inequalityI am ugly, but I can deal the most beautiful woman for myself. Consequently, I am not ugly, for the essence of my ugliness, its power to repel, is annulled by money does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their opposites? (Possnock 204). represent AlsoCritical Response Essay TopicsGatsbys incapacities, generally of an aflame nature, inhibitions preventing his successful capture of his long-lost spot, Daisy, are washed away with the drunkenness provided by the dollarHowever glorious index be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was a present a penniless young man without a past, and at any moment the invisible cloak of his unvarying might slip from his shoulders He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously lastly he took Daisy one nonoperational October night (Fitzgerald 141).Once armed with the lucre, however, he is prepared to contribute equally to the similitudeship, making it truly an equal relation of love.Love represents the other side of the coin of wealth as conflicting to material wealth, it refers instead to emotional wealth. Whatever its plane of existence, love plays a pivotal role in the American Dream, in Gatsbys Dream. by chance love is the most valuable of the aspects presented thus far of the Dream He hadnt once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyeball (Fitzgerald 88). Such is his love for her the bootlegging Gatsby values this emotional wealth to the fulfilment that he essentially aban male parents the material for skilful a moment, losing himself in the winds of vexation stirred up by the swaying of Daisys dress as she inspects Gatsbys lookout tower for the young light. His emotional wealth is so on the spur of the moment multiplied that none of it his possessions was any longer real. Once he nigh toppled down a flight of stairs (Fitzgerald 88).Sharing the same side of the coin is the need for social acceptance. Gatsby prides himself on his openness his lavish parties where strangers came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplimetropolis of heart that was its own ticket of entrance fee (Fitzgerald 43), proof of not further his tolerance, but also of his acceptance of those whose imbibing make him grow more correct as the fraternal glee increase (Fitzgerald 51). Gatsby certainly wants the people on his side from his house labelled aNorman Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, open to the public, to Lucilles electric switch dress from Croiriers, courtesy of Gatsby, no expense is too great in his pastime to win others house. Gatsby needs as much popular support as he can get, in the face of such stochastic acts of contempt as he killed a man once (Fitzgerald 45) to he was a German spy during the war (Fitzgerald 45).Improvement, wealth, love, popularity all contribute to the commentary of the American Dream. What is missing from the preceding list is, however, perhaps the most important quality of all that the American Dream is exactly that, a incorrupt dream. Our eye can never see enough to be genial our ears can never hear enough (Ecclesiastes 18). The key lyric here are never and satisfied it is the essence of the American Dream, satisfaction. Unfortunately, the quest for satisfaction and happiness is unending, like eternally chasing ones empennage hence the never. It is a vicious pass around, one of many traps laid out by Fitzgerald for the sake of educating his audience of the risk of infections of liking.Indeed, given the thin line between the intrinsic desire for self-improvement and the waste and futility of pursuing noetic illusions, and the consequences of the latter, the peril is quite extreme. Esteemed Gatsby inquisitor Marius Bewley succinctly defines the American Dream as life on a level at which the material and the ghostly i.e. imaginary have become inextricably confused, (Bewley 3 7) whose blackest devils are limit and deprivation (Bewley 38). Higher and senior high schooler(prenominal) the summit of its ideals climb, until surely and eventually the mountain becomes insurmountable for mortal man.What has happened out front will happen again. What has been do before will be done again (Ecclesiastes 19). Such is Gatsbys battle cry as he marches off on a mission to re-discover, or rather to re-implant, the passion he found years earlier in the person of Daisy Cant repeat the past? he cried incredulously. wherefore of course you can Im going to fix everything unsloped the way is was before, he said, nodding determinedly. Shell Daisy see (Fitzgerald 106). So begins the heartbreaking stripe which started on that selfish day in the middle of spring with the arriver of Tom Buchanan The letter reached Gatsby while he was still at Oxford(Fitzgerald 144). besides as Daisy re-enters Gatsbys life and sets the circle moving, does she fulfill the reverse she, in an equally shocking and abrupt manner, flees Gatsby, his eyes still scintillating in the reflection of the Dream, thus bringing this aspect full-circle and pounding in the setoff nail in the Dreams coffin.The moment nail to go on seal the coffin is the revolving door quality of the rise and fall from mysterious to poor as the pocketbooks of the Dreamers lines with money, their moral character is chipped away.Once the conscience is destroyed, one can predict that as the money runs out, character returns. Proof of this circle is offered towards the end of the novel heading sand into East Egg from the city after a tense incident on a scorch summertimes day, Gatsby and Daisy spend their last moments together in the car upon her return to East Egg, Daisy, Gatsbys most valued possession, the standard against which he revalued everything in his house (Fitzgerald 88) set offs him and returns fully to Tom, thus leaving Gatsby bankrupt. As this close transpires, Gatsby selflessly accept s the blame for the accident where Daisy, in control of the car, is at fault. devoted the sheer number of its examples, the lack of morals in the materially-rich is indeed an gene Fitzgerald wished to impress upon his audience. The lack of respect for life present in high society is demonstrated most strongly by Daisys relationship, or lack thereof, with her daughter, Pammy. Appearing only once or twice in the novel, Pammys non-existent role in the plot and Daisys life prove Daisys misplaced priorities as a mother and as a successful American Dreamer. Neglect becomes synonymous with high society in Chapter II myrtles Airedale, referred to simply as one of Mrs. Wilsons other purchases (Fitzgerald 31), is last seen sitting on the table with blind eyes through the smoke, and from time to time groaning faintly (Fitzgerald 38) as people disappeared, reappeared, do plans to go somewhere (Fitzgerald 38).By the end of the book Pammy and the dog (Myrtle doesnt even bother naming him)are fo rgotten, victims of the American Dreamers quest for happiness. Daisys whims wreak havoc on others lives as she continues her quest for happiness, driving Gatsbys car at supersonic speeds, plowing through Myrtle Wilsons body and not even bothering to stop. Not only does she continue without batting an eye, Daisy allows Gatsby to essentially hang for her crimes without a simple Im sorry or a token I love you. Tom, for his part, forgets the woman in favour of whom he cheats on Daisy. There was an perspicuous air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together (Fitzgerald 138).Fitzgerald sums up his judgement of the financially-superior/morally-inferiorThey were careless people they smashed up things and creatures and consequently retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or any(prenominal) it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the fixture they had made (Fitzgerald 170).The mess they had m ade the heaps of ashes left in their wake. Unfortunately, dreams dont come cheap. Nor do they come without work. The dreams achieved by high society, such as the creation of the enclave known as East Egg, are built, as Marx would say, on the backs of the workers the workers who sweat and toil for the benefit of the American Dreamers (or perhaps to spousal relationship their ranks) creating and living in the vast ashheaps of America, separate from their economic rulers. They do not live the Dream they dont have the opportunity to. This exclusionary feature film of the American Dream appears as the distinct snobbery evident through East Eggs assertion of membership in a rather distinguished secret society (Fitzgerald 22).From I Nick lived at west Egg, the well, the less-fashionable of the two (Fitzgerald 10), to my opinion on these matters is final, he Tom seemed to say, just because Im stronger and more of a man than you are (Fitzgerald 13), to Tom deferred to the sensibilities of those East Eggers who might be on the train (Fitzgerald 29), it certainly seems that East Egg suffers from a superiority complex a condition due, no doubt, to their success in embodying the American Dream.So I realized that all we can do is be happy, and do the best we can while we are still alive (Ecclesiastes 312). The beauty of the American Dream is that, as an impossible yet plainly plausible goal for all intents and purposes, it continues to inspire domain of all nationalities to stretch to a new level of existence, regardless of their sure social status. The quest for happiness is perhaps the most venerable of all human institutions due to the natural human desire for a luxuriant existence a simple pursuit, hardly a palpable pursuit, by chance a consuming pursuit, definitely.While the pursuit of the American Dream can easily be branded selfish and greedy, one must love those American Dreamers with the gall to embark on its realization. The lengths to which Gatsby go es to bring his world to realization are, to say the least, extensive. An example is his building of gonnegtions with less than scrupulous business partners to finance the erection of a tower from which to gaze at a green light, a task requiring years of work, as his partner Meyer Wolfshiem reminisces My memory goes back to when I first met him Gatsby, he said. A young major just out of the war 1918. Did you start him in business, I Nick inquired. Start him I made him (Fitzgerald 162). While one might criticize his hyperactive imagination and perhaps even his sanity, one must grant him credit for his seemingly spare and juvenile idealism he is a true romantic. angiotensin-converting enzyme must also admire his tenacity and strength of will where lesser men would have collapsed under the strain of globe, the strong Gatsby persevered against all betting odds and, for a moment, held Daisys white face (Fitzgerald 107) and she blossomed for him like a bloom and the incarnation was co mplete (Fitzgerald 107). The facing of such a challenge is no less heroic than catching a marlin or warding off a raging bull all three require intense mental preparation, and though each expends different physical force, all three leave the hero exhausted physically and emotionally.Where Gatsbys inferiors depend on intoxicant to wash away their inhibitions and uncertainties Never had a drink before, but oh how I Daisy en pleasance it (Fitzgerald 74) declares a drunken, uncertain,about-to-be-married Daisy in the face of mounting stress and worry over her commitment or the bottle of whiskey a second one which was in constant demand by all present (Fitzgerald 37) at the heated scrutinize-Toms-relationships meeting in Toms/Myrtles apartment Gatsby charges headfirst, conscious without anaesthetic, straight into the source of potential joy and potential heartbreak. I Nick wondered if the fact that he Gatsby was not drinking helped to set him off from his guests, for it seemed to m e that he grew more correct as the hilarity increased (Fitzgerald 51).The pathetic hilarity with which the novel ends with Gatsby dead, sincerely believing that Daisy will call back, and Tom and Daisy continuing on, living without memory of their brief affairs of the summer of 1922 accomplishes two things firstly, it validates Gatsby and the American Dream Fitzgerald contrasts the unforgivable, despicable actions of Tom and Daisy with the seemingly innocent and juvenile fantasies of Gatsby. The latter earns the audiences sympathy, while the former are condemned for their inhumanity. Secondly, it debunks the American Dream in spite of all the efforts and labours Gatsby invests to bring his Dream to fruition, he and his bold vision are cut short, left to corrupt floating in a pool of blood, rejected by reality a strong message that material existence does not take kindly to Dreamers.And the battle returns to its origin Dreamers recommence their offensive, reality braces itself and the report continues. It is all useless. It is like chasing the wind (Ecclesiastes 226). Or is it?Bewley, Marius. Scott Fitzgeralds critical review of America. Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby. Ed. Ernest Lockridge. Englewood Cliffs Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968. 37-53.Book of Ecclesiastes. Good News Bible. manilla paper Philippine Bible Society, 1980.Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London Penguin Books, 1990.Possnock, Ross. A New World, clobber Without Being Real Fitzgeralds Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby. Critical Essays on Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby. Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston G.K. Hall & Co., 1984. 201-213.