• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

‘The Great Gatsby’ Is often thought of as a novel which reflects the glamour of America in the 1920’s. Do you consider this to be an accurate reading of the novel?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The Great Gatsby' Is often thought of as a novel which reflects the glamour of America in the 1920's. Do you consider this to be an accurate reading of the novel? The novel 'The Great Gatsby' cannot be said to only reflect an image of American glamour, but of the entire American dream. It is a social commentary, an ironic satire, a dark prediction and a romantic drama, each factor combining to produce a book covering many themes, involving the individual and the whole. It presents views of America from both the inside and out, creating complex microcosms within itself, each reinforced through repetition from the first page to the last. In doing this Fitzgerald wrote a carefully structured novel, and rewrote and changed many chapters in order to expand the plot past a mere chronological order of events. "It is worth bearing in mind the care that went into the revision of the work because it is deceptively easy to read the novel quickly in order to find out what has happened as we do in a detective story." - J.F.Wyatt* In the very first few pages the reader is introduced to the narrator of the book. Even this early on the idea self-improvement and wonderful opportunities is a key factor. Nick Carraway who is of a "prominent, well to do family" is restless in the West, and wishes to strive out to the East and be a 'bondsman'. He has come back from the war, and discovered that "instead of being the warm centre of the world, the middle-west now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe". ...read more.

Middle

That Nick has seen the 'inside' of these people is fundamental, as they can be taken as the epitome of glamour in the book, in which case it is not necessarily something to be desired. In terms of 'The American Dream', I think that Gatsby had it. This is not revealed to us at the beginning of the novel, instead Gatsby is a mysterious figure, someone you caught glimpses of but were never fully revealed. "I saw that I was not alone, a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbours mansion...... he stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way, and, as far as I was away from him, I could have sworn he was trembling.......when I looked once more again for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness" The revelations about Gatsby occur at intervals in the book, breaking up Nick's chronological narrative and providing snippets of information, keeping us interested. J.F.Wyatt* says "Nick is taken to New York by the great man himself and on the journey he reveals tantalising fragments of his past." The next thing we are presented with to do with Gatsby is the speculation of various people at his parties. "Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once" "It's more that he was a German spy during the war" These comments have to be taken in the context of which they are said though. Nick himself whilst at the time half believing these stories about this mysterious man also analyses the situation, his thoughts being:- "It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world.". ...read more.

Conclusion

That is very interesting as he is not, due to his involvement in crime, adultery and using of Nick. This means that at a first glance, Gatsby is a true example of the American dream. He is very wealthy and has made it all himself, is generous and flash. Gatsby's willingness to protect Daisy from anything, is also his downfall. His death is due to his placing of his trust in an imperfect character. In Gatsby's mind, his sheltering of Daisy from responsibility of Myrtle's death can only be a good thing as he is helping the woman he loves. In reality, the world does not work like that and he is only setting himself up to reap the repercussions and tempt Daisy to revert to her secure husband and feel safe without him. "He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing." If the glamour is to be Gatsby and his parties, then this novel could be thought to incorporate a social commentary on 'high-society', and 'glamour' and wealth. If Tom and Daisy provide the glamour, then it is a deeply pessimistic book, as they are shallow characters, whose whole attitude is summed up by their running away in the end. Therefore; This novel is not a romantic reflection into the glamour of any era. It is a story of the perversity of the world in that a dream however noble, can be warped and ruined by both the holder of the dream and those careless and responsible around them. The American Dream does exist, but if you are not careful, at what cost. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Beneath the Surface Glitter, The Great Gatsby is a Profoundly Pessimistic Novel. Do You ...

    4 star(s)

    The second chapter includes Nicks symbolic vision of the state of the country. He describes the valley of ashes with such words as desolate, grotesque and ghastly. The valley of ashes show the decay of the American Dream as the ash represents corruption.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the effectiveness of the opening chapter of Fitzgerald’s ‘the Great Gatsby’.

    5 star(s)

    He indicates he feels Tom did "nibble at the edge of stale ideas" as "his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart". Alternatively this could be seen as understanding of the rich. Despite being from a "prominent" family of "well to do people", he represents America's traditional moral codes.

  1. Peer reviewed

    The 'Great Gatsby' can be regarded as a social satire and an observation of ...

    4 star(s)

    Gatsby is also extremely na�ve, irrational and goes out of his way to be sentimental as he regresses and tries to turn back time when it is crystal clear that the past cannot be brought back to life. The Wilsons are a typical corollary of the corrupted American Dream.

  2. Great Gatsby Reading Questions and answers.

    By this amount of ashes the air is powdered with ash. This trash land represents the lower end of the spectrum. The moral decay of society. 2. Describe Mr. Wilson and Myrtle. Do they seem to fit into the setting?

  1. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    Family relationships exist superficially amongst high-ranking members of society. Marriages become simply labels of society rather than bindings between two individuals. Catherine observes the superficiality of marriages when remarking about the couples of the story, "Neither of them can stand the person they're married to" (Fitzgerald 37).

  2. Nick says of Gatsby,” I disapproved of him from beginning to end”, and also ...

    He finds it difficult, at first, to understand why a man would put so much effort and money into producing such a marvellous event so frequently, and yet not attend himself. Being a neighbour of these events, Nick is able to witness the amount of input, and yet he seems

  1. "What qualities of Daisy from the 'Great Gatsby' and Nora from 'A Dolls House' ...

    This can be observed when she discuss' her daughter. "And I hope she'll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool7". Daisy shows her superficial outlook on life, believing that women shouldn't be exposed to the evils of the world,

  2. How Has Fitzgerald Presented The Character Of Daisy In 'The Great Gatsby'?

    doesn't want the fuss of looking after the child herself, but only the joy of bringing it out when it suits her, to amuse herself. Nick is also told by Daisy that when her child was born she said 'I'm glad it's a girl.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work