“Now we have an American masterpiece in its final form; the original crystal has shaped itself into the true diamond.”(James Dickey)The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is deemed to be a trueclassic in all terms. The Novel is a timeless masterpiece that any era throughouthistory can relate to. “Though written in the 1920’s The Great Gatsby stands as… one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century American literature .” Thebook has “transcended its own age and turned into a timeless classic.
” Thenovel may have been written to justify society at that time, however the entirestoryline can be related to anyone that reads it.
William Faulkner is an author who wrote a famous Nobel Prizeacceptance speech. “He writes not of love but lust, of defeats in which nobodyloses anything of value, of victories without hope and worst of all, without pity orcompassion.” Here Faulkner speaks of issues that also pertain to that of TheGreat Gatsby. Gatsby desired Daisy throughout the entire story.
Everything hedid and thought had been decided upon by his undying lust. When Daisymarried Tom, Gatsby lost his chance with her. Then Gatsby won a glance athappiness with Daisy when she fell in love with him. There was no hope though,his poor youth kept him from being an aristocrat. Daisy only wanted to be withan aristocrat. Finally when Faulkner said “without pity or compassion” thisrelates to The Great Gatsby in how Tom and Daisy packed up and moved faraway without even showing their faces at Gatsby’s funeral.
The Plot of the novel, is based on the fact that the newly rich, (those whowere not born into money, but have acquired it over time), will never have the power ofthose who were born in to family wealth. The woman that Gatsby, the maincharacter, is in love with, is married to Tom, a man of higher power than Gatsby.
Living in East Egg, the couple looked down on those in West Egg. WestEgg was “The less fashionable of the two,”(pg. 9) the area where those who hadjust acquired their new money lived.
Daisy, Gatsby’s love interest, deserted him after their past relationshipand married Tom while Gatsby was at war. Gatsby’s newly obtained money wasstill not good enough for Daisy. This type of scenario is still typical today insociety. Much of the world today is based on materialism and the worth of one’sfortune is more valuable than their own happiness.
For the most part the characters, their problems they face, and how theyact in The Great Gatsby relate to any of those who lived throughout history. Gatsby for instance was a character who did anything he could to impress a girlthat he desires. People of the past present and future will urge to impresssomeone they want. Ever since there has been social classes there has always been peopletrying to form a relationship or marriage with someone just for their socialupbringing. In The Great Gatsby Daisy does just that by marrying Tom thendenying Gatsby the chance since he is not an Aristocrat. All the way back to King Henry VIII and beyond there has been infidelity. Tom is quite the sinner in this way. He kept a steady mistress where ever hewas during his marriage. Also tying in with Daisy she played it off as if she didnot know Tom was cheating on her to keep her social status.
There are two major themes throughout The Great Gatsby. The firsttheme is the decline of the American dream in the 1920’s. The American dreamwas originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. Inthe 1920’s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and related social valuescorrupted this dream. The main plot of this novel reflects strongly to thatstatement. Gatsby’s dream of having Daisy is denied because of their differencein social statues. He had to resort to illegal ways of obtaining his money toimpress his love.
The other theme of the novel, pertains to the hollowness of the upperclass . Though the newly rich and the aristocrats were very different from eachother, the two were balanced out. The West Egg, though said to be vulgar,gaudy, and have pretentious homes, is much more sincere and giving than theEast Egg. For example, Gatsby stood outside Daisy’s house until four am. justto make sure she did not get hurt.
The East Egg was known for their grace taste subtlety, and elegance. They had tasteful homes and dressed in tasteful clothing. On the other hand,they lacked heart, they were careless, and inconsiderate bullies. Due to theirshallowness, they were accustomed to their money’s ability to ease their minds . For example, instead of facing up to their problems in the end, the Buchananssimply moved away and had no guilt leaving Gatsby to take the blame; they didnot even show at Gatsby’s funeral after he took the heat for Daisy.
Throughout the novel much imagery is used. The first image is that of thegreen light situated at the end of Daisy’s dock. This light was leading Gatsby tohis goal in life (Daisy). This quest for Gatsby can be associated with theAmerican dream. The green light can symbolize the fight everyone has to reachtheir goals. This can be related to anyone no matter what time in history youhave lived.
Another image is that of the valley of ashes. This area is between EastEgg and West Egg. The valley is a site for industries to dump their ashes. Thismess represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhabitedpursuit of wealth. In today’s society, people will knock down whoever they must,to get to the top. Society is very greedy and only sees to one’s benefit.
The last symbol would be the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. These eyes areon an advertisement billboard over the valley of ashes. They may represent godstaring down judging American society as a moral waste land. “Standing behindhim, he saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburgwhich had just emerged pale and enormous from the dissolving night, god seeseverything. ” ” The man replied”(pg. 167). The eyes represent god watching allof us and everyone usually has some type of upper being to look up to, nomatter what era.
In conclusion The Great Gatsby proves to be a timeless classic and canrelate to any era throughout history. The plot, characters, themes, and imageryof the story all support the fact that even though the book was based on the1920’s any decade can relate to it. The problems of the people and society arestill those of today and probably will never change.
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