The Great Gatsby is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and set in the 1920’s. On the exterior, The story of the Great Gatsby is the unspoken love between a man and a woman. However , internally the novel has a wider concept, It covers much more than love and romance, but instead a more broad view on America in the 1920’s. Based off of Long Island, New York, the novel is a symbolic reflection of the idealistic dissolution of wealth and materialistic views of an American life in the 1920’s. Fitzgerald describes the 1920’s as an era of unrealistic social and moral values, shown in the novel of cynicism, greed and bottomless pleasure.
The wild extravagant parties, the jazz music, the wealthy important people of the society all compact in one place, is the epitome of the corrupted American Dream. The desire for money and social class are more, valuable than honorable goals. After WW1 America was at an all time high, we were rich with the rise of the stock market. Essentially anyone could achieve the American Dream, and newfound materialistic values increased. The 18th amendment was also passed which banned the sale of liquor, creating a sudden demand, leading to an underground thriving business for criminals alike. Gatsby joined the business to attain his goals and did so. While described in the book all the characters also symbolized these social trends in the 1920’s.
Nick and Gatsby both were veterans of WW1, and exhibit the new diversity of culture and doubtfulness that resulted from the war. The lots of important people and clout seekers, who attended Gatsby’s parties were symbolic for the desire for wealth and social class. Meyer Wolfsheim and Gatsby’s sudden fortune show the skyrocket of organized crime and bootlegging.
The author saw it and how Nick explains in Chapter 9;”the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness.” (74). However this dream of his was corrupted by the easy access to money and the certain social standards. The plot of the novel was based of Gatsby’s love for Daisy, and how in order to gain her acceptance, he needed to attain wealth and in doing so he resorted to bootlegging, to attain enough money to win her over, and her expensive tastes in lifestyle. Nick seen through the rampant lifestyle and didn’t agree with it himself. Nick compares the money and wealth rising in America to the green light at the end of Tom’s dock. America has the name America due to peoples dreams for their individual lives. Gatsby has such high views for Dasey, but she doesn’t possess any good qualities or deserve the kindness.
Gatsby’s dream is quickly shut down to his unworthiness of money and pleasure. That represents the Americans of the 1920’s, how they longed for their dreams. Since Gatsby can’t have daisy and achieve his dreams, all that is left for him is to die. The last resort for Nick is moving back to Minnesota, where people’s values have not yet diminished.
Fitzgerald’s point of the novel was to distinguish the love between a man and woman. He also interpreted the 1920’s idealistic views of wealth and social class. These certain things were needed to be of any significance to anyone, and if you couldn’t achieve them you were virtually nothing to anyone. People resorted to criminal activities, and valued money over honor. The people of America were materialistic in their views, making them lose sight of what’s really important in life. Causing them to lose themselves, and tear others down with them.