The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. It is based on the pattern of American Dream according to the perspectives of the author. It is a story of several characters and their life struggles in the early 20th century. Nick, Jay Gatsby, Tom, and Daisy are the main essential characters in the novel. The novel is considered as one among the best novels of the 20th century. It is a relevant book for today as it shows the different aspects of the human personality. It combines the factors of murder, jealousy, money, power, and the corruption. The different characters of the novel are the ones facing various life stages and struggling with their life journeys. The sound pattern of writing, sentence selection, symbolic representation, and literary elements are part of the novel that is why it is used as a compulsory literary novel of high school studies. The Great Gatsby portrays the American culture and system in which everyone thought about their own lives, and most people are self-made, showing the audience about the different life structures of male and female in the early twentieth century.
There are several similarities and differences in the era of 1922 and 2017. The technological advancements today were not imagined by the people living in the early 20th century. These advancements are ruling and revolutionizing the world today but were not invented in the past. In the 21st century, technological advancements and the business world markets are ruling the world. Moreover, the current communicational pattern is far developed than ever before in the past centuries. Now it is easier to talk to anyone across the globe for free and with an internet connection. In the past, it was not possible and unimaginable. Furthermore, the similarity is that the people today are similar to the people before in the past, except one thing that now the people are more aware of the world as compare to the past due to the advancements. People are more mature and more well-known due to the current trends and the global structure of the world. In the past, there were no means of communication and sources of knowledge as compared to the world today.
But if one considers only the characteristics of the novel characters, then there is no difference in the past and the present. There are still people like the people of the novel. But there are still people like Daisy, Tom, Gatsby, and Nick because their characteristics are still the characteristics of many people in the world. Murders, corruption, jealousy, self-made nature, selfishness, extreme love, and cheating in the relationships are the factors that persist in the most world societies as it was in the past. There is poverty, love for wealth, selfish nature, and greed for love available in the world today. The characters of the novel could be easily found in the modern world, and there is no change occurred as these characteristics available in the people in past, present, and in the future.
Several lessons could be learned today with the experiences of the novel characters. The most important one is that everyone was self-made and never consider the feelings of other people. All characters were selfish except Nick, who is the narrator of the story. The characters were fighting with their life struggles such as Jay Gatsby who was young and extremely in love with the Girl Daisy who prefers wealth and married to a wealthy person Tom. The prediction of women in the novel pictured as the women preferred wealthy people in the past and never considered the feelings of a person who is rich enough to give them a luxurious lifestyle. Daisy preferred an affluent lifestyle and this reason lead her to marry a wealthy guy. But this reason impacts on Gatsby negatively and he started earning money by all negative means. He became successful, and within very few time, he became wealthy enough to attract the attention of Daisy. This factor shows that Daisy was a materialistic person and she does not have any emotions for the one who loves her deeply rather she preferred a man with wealth. The audience of the novel also learns that Gatsby changed his name, his character, and his all nature to find his ultimate love but he used negative means and in the end faced failure in the form of death.
The character of Gatsby taught the audience several lessons that he preferred to have his love in his life, but he selected the wrong way. He used all negative means and became wealthy to have his love, but it leads him to nothing but death. It shows that negative means and the ways are not worthy enough to follow. A person, who is materialistic like Daisy, never be able to love someone with real passion and emotions. She loved wealth and a luxurious lifestyle that could lead her to another wealthy man when she does not have one. Gatsby should consider this fact and should never try to use wrong means to get his love. His love was true, but his method to have her was wrong and unworthy. Moreover, Daisy was materialistic, and she will go for anyone who offers her more wealth than her husband.
The character of Tom taught many lessons to the audience, including that he was a nothing but a selfish and a cheater. He was cheating his wife and had a mistress. But when he learned that his wife is having an affair, he could not bear it. It represents that nature of most men in this world. Especially in the eastern parts of the world societies, men have the nature to have girlfriends and mistresses, but their wives are never allowed to do that. These men are not an only cheater but characterless that they could not bear the relationships of their wives but they want their wives to bear the relationships of their men. The same situation occurred with Tom, and it leads him to be the reason for the death of Gatsby. It shows that Tom was nothing but a characterless man having no regrets about his doings and his actions. In the novel, Tom stated, “And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart, I love her all the time.” (7.251-252). It shows that Tom believes that it is not wrong to have little affairs, and he loves Daisy because he always came back to her. That does not show his love for Daisy; if it’s true, he should have the guts to accept the relationship of Daisy too.
There is another important lesson present in the story about the American Dream. The story is depicting the dreams and the themes of the American system. The character of Gatsby was typical American as it was easier for him to change his name, his identity, and he was able to reinvent a new person, or he was able to become someone that does not belong to him. In his perspective, he believes in the American dream, which he named as “the green light.” In the novel, when Nick states to Gatsby, “you can’t repeat the past.” Gatsby maintains, “Why of course you can!” (30. 36). The character of Gatsby is showing that in his view, one can become anything if he wants to. It was easy for James Gatz at the age of 17 to change himself into Jay Gatsby. He changed himself to become successful and to achieve all his dreams, but in reality, this changing and new personality betrayed him and led him to death. He was not aware of the fact that it leads to his destruction.
The author of the novel wants to audience to experience the American dream and the differences between east and west side of the United States. The novel is a reflection of American Dream by the author. According to the Narrator, the death of Gatsby is the disgrace of the American Dream. Moreover, the novel differentiates between the east and west sides of the country. The east is presented as sophisticated and a combination of wealth earned with privilege. But on the other side, west is presented as with no past and no individual identity. But Nick wants the world of West, and for him, it is the center of the world.
The novel is a great combination of several lessons and gives its audience a lot of experiences about the early 20th century. The Great Gatsby portrays the American culture and system in which everyone thought about their own lives, and most people are self-made, showing the audience about the different life structures of male and female in the early twentieth century. All the characters teach the audience about several important lessons.
Fitzgerald, F.Scott. The Great Gatsby. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1950. Print.
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“The Great Gatsby Analysis.” Shmoop.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018.