Many people aspire great fleets and affluence and live lifestyles that only millionaires can afford; millionaires such as Jay Gatsby. From the outside he’s practically living the American dream. He has an extravagant mansion, butler, Rolls-Royce, and weekly parties. At these parties of his, people all from different parts Of the State come to enjoy the many rooms Of his estate, the elaborate pool in his yard, and the live orchestra that plays. What else could a man, such as Jay himself who has achieved such successes, want?
As revealed through his encounters with Nick, apparently a lot.
The Great Gatsby novel definitely helped create a party crazed image Of the Roaring Twenties but through the characters in the plot we see that people were quite dissatisfied. We observe this discontentment through the marriage of George and Myrtle, through the jadedness of Daisy, and through the optimism of Jay Gatsby. One of the most obvious cases within the novel is the tragedy of George Wilson and Myrtle Wilson.
Myrtle Wilson is very materialistic in a way that she craves a more luxurious lifestyle.
This leads to her discontent with George’s repair shop and does not fancy life whilst being married to a mechanic. George however comes off as more firm footed in a way that he is does not worry about not living luxuriously enough. He appears to be content with the way his business is going. It isn’t until George finds about Myrtle’s adultery with Tom that we see a different, scarier, side of him. Myrtle gives herself to Tom because he is a wealthier man and she is attracted to the material things he can buy her. Unfortunately due to tragic manslaughter-suicide-murder ending to the scandals, there isn’t much room left for happiness.
Secondly we can observe Daisy. Daisy is probably the most twisted development in the story line however. She is introduced as an elevated, kind of perfect lady character, in a way to fit the mold Gatsby has created for her in his mind. She says the best thing her baby could be is a “little fool”, which articulates her experience in the real world cruelties but lack Of faith. We see signs of her flaws when Nick begins to fear the she might not live up to the image Gatsby has of her. As the story progress she begins to become less deal like when she doesn’t have enough self-respect to react to Tom’s scandalous actions.
She chooses the security Of Tom’s wealth over true life, believing it to be the right decision. However, Tom destroys their love by committing adultery with Myrtle. Regardless of her hopeless acts she is definitely shrewd. She is smart enough to understand the limits put on woman during the time but lacks the optimism and will power to fight it. These limits lead her to become a jaded bundle of scar tissue. Finally there is the narrator, Nick Caraway, introduced as a neutral opinionated character. He served in World War I and returns from battle restless.
After receiving such high energy levels from war, he decided the Midwest cannot deliver his desires for a higher life and moves out to a prospering Long Island. Right off the bat he falls in love with the mystery of Gatsby and his intense optimism. However, he is different from others in a way that he is more firm footed and is actually disgusted by some the richer people of the town for their simplicity and hollowness. He doesn’t allow himself to be blinded by the lust of money. As the story continue continues it s clear Nick is an outsider.
Alone and confused trying to make sense of all the madness he is amongst, he begins to pull away from society rather to assimilate. He goes from a dreaming boy to a man who is well aware of the consequences Of a life wasted on making a fortune. The Roaring Twenties was a time of materialism. People were investing blindly in stocks for ridiculous profits, musicals and plays were selling record seats, music was making a revolution, and life just appeared to be good. But through The Great Gatsby, we see this is not the case. Many women like
Myrtle who were not satisfied with their financial situations did despicTABLE things for materialistic gains. Women like Daisy had suffered disconnection and depression leading to failure in deciding between love and fortune. Then young ambitious adventurers such as the illustrious Nick Caraway travel coast to coast for opportunity only to by disgusted and disturbed by human nature and the race for greed. Dissatisfaction with life, family, and fortune was alive and well in the Roaring Twenties. Everyone struggled with a life at the time, it was a tender mess for everyone.
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