Critical Analysis of the Great Gatsby essay

CriticalAnalysis of the Great Gatsby

Inhis novel, TheGreat Gatsby,F. Scott Fitzgerald succeeds to define, praise, and on the samebreath, condemn what most of us know as the &quotAmerican Dream.&quotAccording to Bloom (2010), the American Dream (that hard work canelevate one from grass to grace) has been a core aspect of Americanuniqueness since its inauguration. In what many scholars consider asone of Fitzgerald`s most successful novels, TheGreat Gatsbydepicts the reality of the American Dream and its unanticipateddemise by employing different literary devices. In TheGreat Gatsby,Fitzgerald ends his American Dream narrative in an awry fashion. Inother words, Scott Fitzgerald labels the American Dream asunattainable and pursuing it occasions more destruction to oneselfbecause ultimately, everyone comes up short in the end despite theefforts extended. In this paper, we will delve into Fitzgerald`s viewof the American Dream, using his composition as a lens.

InTheGreat Gatsby,Scott Fitzgerald depicts social class as a highly significantcomponent that distinguishes the mentalities of people in theirpursuit of the American Dream. The characters in the novel areclearly distinguished by their wealth and their places of work. TheGreat Gatsbyportrays societal demarcation along three social classes: the oldmoney, the new money, and no money. Fitzgerald employs motif as oneof the literary devices, represented by East and West Egg. EastEgg/old money (Tom and Daisy Buchanan) are families that havefortunes dating from World War I and have built influential socialand political connections. The West Egg/new money depicts those thathave made a lot of &quotnew money&quot from business or criminalactivities like Gatsby. In the novel, Fitzgerald portrays this classof people as showy, gaudy, and socially awkward (Bloom, 2010).

Hedepicts the individuals in this class as imitators of the East Egg,which explains why the West Eggers are copying the lavish andwasteful lifestyles of the East Eggers. In the Novel, Nick says, &quotTomand Daisy are careless people. They would smash things up and returnto their monies leaving other people to clean up the mess they leftbehind.&quot Additionally, as Bloom (2010) explains, Nick condemnsthe excessively rich by saying that &quotthe rich make their moneyon industry and carelessly toss the waste resulting in an expansive,gray, poverty-stricken stretch of land occupied by the no classes.&quot According to Nick, other people, and places do not matter to therich because the rich selfishly leave their waste for poorer peopleto deal with which is a condemnation of the American Dream fromFitzgerald`s point of perspective. Nick explains that the symbolic&quotValley of Ashes&quot that separates the East Eggers and theWest Eggers is a depiction of the careless nature of the wealthy.Evidently, Fitzgerald documents the fact that the American Dream isindeed destructive, while at the same time constructive.

InTheGreat Gatsby,Nick sees wealth, money, and properties (American Dream) as the onlysolution to his problem. Therefore, in pursuit of wealth, Gatsbyinvolves himself in corrupt and shady deals to reinvent himself andin so doing, disconnecting him from his past. Getting married toDaisy is the primary driving force behind Gatsby`s actions ofengaging in shady deals so as impress Daisy. Eventually, Gatsbymanages to recreate himself by making a lot of money and surroundinghimself with material wealth which he actively thinks will enticeDaisy into settling with him (Bloom, 2010). However, all his effortsare fruitless because he does not end up marrying Daisy which is anawry ending for such a beautiful narrative. Evidently, Fitzgerald ismaking known, the fact that the American Dream is unattainable.Nick`s failure to marry Daisy does not prove that the American Dreamstory is irrational. Rather, it is a proof that employing a shortcutto the realization of the American Dream by engaging in corrupt andshady deals over integrity, hard work, and real love, are notbeneficial in the pursuit of the much anticipated American Dream.

Inhis novel, Fitzgerald manages to define, praise and condemn theAmerican Dream. In search of the American Dream, two classes arealways at a struggle: the haves and the have-nots. TheGreat Gatsbydepicts the war occasioned by the pursuit of the American Dreambetween these two classes as a battle between Tom and Gatsby overDaisy (Bloom, 2010). As it always is, the have-nots are alwaysoverlooked and ignored by the wealthier people, just like GeorgeWilson was ignored in the novel. To live the American Dream, Nickthinks that amassing money is the way to getting Daisy`s hand inmarriage. Therefore, Nick Gatsby engages in corrupt deals throughwhich he manages to become rich. However, even after upgrading hissocial class, his American Dream is shattered when he doesn`t getmarried to Daisy. Therefore, through the lens of TheGreat Gatsby,it becomes easy to decipher the fact that Fitzgerald is skeptical ofthe American Dream.

Fitzgeraldproves that in pursuit of the American Dream, people are oftentransformed into careless individuals to a level of not caring aboutthe welfare of other human beings. Rich people despise the poor afact Fitzgerald has put in white and black in his novel.Additionally, Fitzgerald proves his skepticism of the American Dreamby depicting the modes in which people chase the American Dream. Nickengages in corrupt and shady deals to get the money to impress Daisy.Fitzgerald`s skepticism of the American Dream is prominent in theending of TheGreat Gatsby.Even after &quotworking hard&quot to get the money to please Daisy,Nick falls short in attaining his &quotAmerican Dream&quot by notsettling with Daisy even after he had acquired wealth. Therefore,Fitzgerald`s TheGreat Gatsbyis a depiction of the fact that the American Dream is unattainable,and pursuing it occasions more destruction to oneself becauseultimately, everyone comes up short in the end despite the effortsextended to realize the “American Dream.”


Bloom,H. (2010). F.Scott Fitzgerald`s The Great Gatsby.Infobase Publishing.