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The settings of The Great Gatsby represent aspects of the American Dream. How far and in what ways do you agree with this view of The Great Gatsby?

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Introduction

"The settings of The Great Gatsby represent aspects of the American Dream." How far and in what ways do you agree with this view of The Great Gatsby? When reading F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" for the first time, it may seem as a straightforward novel about all-consuming characters and symbolic themes. Settings appear to be unimportant. However they play a valuable part in the story. The settings are used by the author to emphasise the characters and themes. The places Fitzgerald used in his novel epitomize various aspects of the American society in 1920's. East Egg represents the old aristocracy - Tom and Daisy, whose families were "enormously wealthy" even before the war. The West Egg represents the newly rich - Gatsby. ...read more.

Middle

They exemplify this in chapter 9, when they move to another city rather than attend Gatsby's funeral. However Gatsby, whose wealth was derived from illegal bootlegging, has a loyal heart, as he takes the blame for killing Myrtle rather than letting Daisy be punished. Fitzgerald also uses settings to highlight the differences that were present in statuses between people in 1920's. By introducing the characters through their possession, the reader can see who is from upper class and who is not. Tom and Daisy are straight away introduced as wealthy people through their environment. In chapter one the reader meets them in a house with "French windows" , "wine-coloured rug" and a "frosted wedding-cake of a ceiling". The description of the opulent house suggests immediately to the reader that Tom and Daisy are upper class and rich. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, the description of Gatsby's party at his house. Nick compares the people present at Gatsby's party to "moths". This opulent description shows the reader how obsessive feelings Nick had for "gorgeous" Gatsby. If we compare this narration of Gatsby's house with other settings he describes, we can see that Nick was a very unreliable narrator. For example he illustrates Myrtle's apartment in New York as "small" with "a set of tapestried furniture entirely too large for it". In conclusion in "The Great Gatsby" Fitzgerald is trying to show the reader the failure of The American Dream not only through characters and events but also through settings. Settings play an important part in the novel as they present the worlds in which the dream failed. The settings also help to highlight the different aspects of The American Dream and the differences in statuses between people that lived in 1920's America. ...read more.

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