It shows the irresponsibility of American capitalism and privilege. It does, however, present a moral alternative to this life, a set of values that might be better. Nick hints at it in the beginning of the novel. It was what preyed on Gatsby
However, the major theme of the novel has much less to do with love than with the culture of the s as a whole. In this article, the various cultural elements reflected in The Great Gatsby which led to the downfall of the s American Dream will be discussed, as well as their implications for the characters in the novel.
During the s, the perception of the American Dream was that an individual can achieve success in life regardless of family history or social status if they only work hard enough. Gatsby epitomizes the idea of self-made success; he is successful financially and socially and he essentially created an entirely new persona for himself from his underprivileged past.
The culture of the wealthy Americans represented in Gatsby was defined mainly by consumerism and excessive material wealth. The wealth and power must be put into evidence.
See how the whole front of it catches the light. As the novel demonstrates, this development subverted the foundations of the Protestant ethic, replacing the values of hard work and thrifty abstinence with a show of luxury and idleness.
None of the characters in The Great Gatsby seemed to care much about hard work once they had achieved their material goals.
Although he loves her, he undeniably also sees her as a material commodity, much the way he views his home. Gatsby lacks the maturity to realize that Daisy cannot be obtained by money alone and in a vulgar display of conspicuous consumption, he flaunts his nouveau wealth.
Gatsby puts huge sums of money into these parties yet does not seem to enjoy hosting them at all.
Gatsby however had trouble even believing himself that he truly fit in with the upper class Long Island society. The day after the car accident when Nick goes to visit Gatsby, Fitzgerald describes the deterioration of the house just since Gatsby fired his servants.
This was Gatsby attempting to establish himself as somebody. Automobiles also played an important role in the culture of the s, as well as an important role in the lives and deaths of several characters.
At the time the novel was set, the automobile was still a relatively new technology, and just beginning to become important in the culture of wealthy Americans. To the rich characters in The Great Gatsby, the automobile was not so important as a mode of transportation as much as it had importance as a commodity.
For example, Gatsby has his own chauffeur, yet he still has a station wagon and an expensive Rolls Royce that he uses as well. Gatsby likes to make a spectacle with his purchases, whether it is his clothing, his home, or his automobiles. Additionally, the deaths of several characters in the book, whether directly or indirectly resulting from an automobile is an important thing to consider when examining how s culture affected the collapse of the American Dream.
Myrtle, Gatsby, and George all die because of an automobile accident, even though Myrtle was the only one who was directly killed by the car. The characters substituted their pursuit of happiness for a pursuit of wealth, believing that wealth would satisfy their dreams and lead to happiness, however lives were lost in the process instead.
In addition to the preoccupation with material wealth that led to the demise of the American Dream, the means which many people in the s obtained the material wealth in the first place plays a large role. The Prohibition movement which coincides with the events in The Great Gatsby enabled many people who otherwise would have never achieved financial success to enjoy a lavish, extravagant lifestyle.
Prohibition began in with the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment. It was believed by many that this movement would encourage moral behavior and discourage crime and disease. To reach his dream of spending his life with Daisy, he attains his millions in the bootlegging business during the time of prohibition.
To spin off from this a bit, it may be truly said that in America, no noncriminal ever becomes rich. The activities associated with Prohibition led to a decline in the American Dream because the idea of the American Dream is that only virtuous, moral, hard working individuals were rewarded.
The bootlegging business during the s came along with a huge increase in organized crime. It was probably because of his connections to bootlegging and through his drugstores that Gatsby met the infamous gambler and racketeer Meyer Wolfsheim, who was most likely based on an actual gambler from that era named Arnold Rothstein.
Gatsby was not a fundamentally corrupt man however through his association with dishonest, wayward people he gradually became more like them. I saw right away he was a fine appearing gentlemanly young man and when he told me he was an Oggsford I knew I could use him good.
The way he earned his money and the fact that he had at one point been poor is part of what makes Daisy not want to be with Gatsby, and what basically ruins all hope that Gatsby ever had of fulfilling his dream of them being together.The great gatsby and the fall of the american dream., Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
The Great Gatsby & the American Dream. The Great Gatsby and the American Dream The Great Gatsby is an interesting and thought-provoking novel by the American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald that sets to explore important and complex social themes such as the hollowness of the upper class and the characteristics and decline of the American Dream during the prosperous years preceding the Great .
The impending failure had been clear to Fitzgerald by the time he finished Gatsby – and the fact that in most Americans were still recklessly chasing the dream had a great deal to do with. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, morals and ethics are a scarce practice.
Jay Gatsby lives his life by the over bearing morals and values of devotion, corruption, and his will to control.
The Great Gatsby: The Decline of The American Dream Essay The pursuit of the American Dream has been alive for generations. People from nations all over the world come to America for the chance to achieve this legendary dream of freedom, opportunity, and the “all American family”.
Watch video · American short-story writer and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his turbulent personal life and his famous novel 'The Great Gatsby.' love and the American Dream.