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

The Great Gatsby: Characters

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

We've got Character! Poor, wealthy, pretty, ugly, innocent, guilty, dishonest, and truthful: No matter what it entails, every novelistic character has specific labels and qualities that the author characterizes them with for explicit purposes. The era of the 1920's possessed various yet specific types of people. The roaring 20's consisted of a lower dress line, illegal swapping of alcohol, and most importantly, o strive for "The American Dream." Although different people had different theories, everyone believed that the perfect life was achievable. Some thought by money and status, others by the past, and still others by apocryphal love and lifestyles. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald condemns the non-ethical approach of the people of the 1920's for what proves to be an unachievable "American Dream." Through the development, symbolisms, words, and actions of his various characters, Fitzgerald criticizes and satirizes the absurdity of the society of the 1920's. Through the character of Daisy Buchanan, Fitzgerald emphasizes the mendacious, hypocritical lives of the wealthy. Daisy is often described with great innocence, like a dove, as if she "had just been blown back after a short flight around the house" (Fitzgerald 8). ...read more.

Middle

(Fitzgerald 13) Jordan is described in an ethereal way. She is depicted in shades of black and white. "They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the room." (Fitzgerald 12) Jordan's white dresses and subtle demeanor group her along with the East Egg established wealth. She appears bored and almost offended by the gaudy newly rich such as Gatsby. "You live in West Egg," she remarked contemptuously." Jordan blatantly displays her distaste for the new rich. Jordan speaks with Nick condescendingly only at the notion that he lives in West Egg, the island of the garish new rich. "It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply I was casually sorry, and then I forgot." (Fitzgerald 63) Nick overlooks Jordan's dishonesty as if it was a slight slip of the tongue. He lets it go the way he would from his cousin Daisy. Both girls embody the old aristocracy of the time. Jordan Baker is seemingly the most obvious example how appearances may be deceiving. Jordan constantly lies, the first thing Nick remembers about her is that she cheated in her very first golf tournament. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, after Gatsby is dead and he meets Jordan again, she asks him what happened to being honest and straightforward, a characteristic he was proud of. His response, "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor" (177), as well as the fact that his encounter with Tom who said Gatsby "threw dust" (178) into Nick's eyes as well as Daisy's throws doubt on his reliability as a narrator. His final insight into Tom's childishness reveals the grand possibility that everyone had thought that their actions were justifiable in their own minds. From these characters, it is clear that self-deception, lack of morals, hypocrisy, and inability to consider or understand others were qualities rampant in the 1920's. In this era, the ends justified the means and, as long as a person didn't get hurt, it didn't matter what everyone else did. And, yet, despite all of this, there is something sympathetic about these characters. In the end, no matter how horrible the means, the ends were never achieved and there is no comfort in knowing that people will change their ways. The Great Gatsby opens our eyes to the tragedy of the American Dream as well as the minds that can justify absolutely anything to get it. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Raw by scott monk

    3 star(s)

    she is drunk and is trying to make you see what's happening through Gwen's eyes. It shows that she's a drug addict and alcoholic, these techniques symbolize Gwen's personality through her dialogue, as like Brett, Gwen makes up excuses for her mistakes.

  2. Essay on Animal Farm by George Orwell

    When the pigs learn themselves to walk on their hind legs, Squealer takes the Sheep's out in a field and makes them say: "Two legs good, four legs better"4, and the propaganda has again served its purpose. The humans are furthermore representatives of the capital world, they represent all that

  1. Sins of the Past

    Harrison welcomed them, "now that your here we can leave. A military helicopter is awaiting you outside to take you to Washington international. You will board the prototype Z600-X jet.

  2. Adrian Mole Chapter Notes

    June 10th Adrian is officially in love with Pandora. June 11th Adrian is too much in love to write anything. June 12th Adrian had a message from school, saying that Bert needed him. He went over with Pandora. Bert was ill, Adrian called the doctor.

  1. The Great Gatsby

    Thus we can only see what he sees. This can lead to some different situations than if the book was told from a third person perspective. Because Carraway narrates the story, we only find out things gradually, and some things we do not find out at all. Early on in chapter 4, we encounter more rumours such as 'He's a bootlegger.'

  2. Who or what was to blame for the separation of catherine and heathcliff

    Hindley also reacts differently to Heathcliff upon Catherine's return: "You may come and wish Miss Catherine welcome, like the other servants." The theme of social class is shown here, and we see the vast difference in Catherine and Heathcliff's statuses.

  1. The Trouble with the Birlings and Gerald Croft is they Confuse Respectability with Morality ...

    with themselves and their lives that they set themselves up for a fall- hubris and nemesis. In this particular case, the fall comes in the form of the Inspector reporting the suicide of a young girl. The Inspector is the thing that brings them down to earth with a bump

  2. one girl one dream

    I tried to climb through the window, I was caught on something in the room, something is holding me back, I was shaking and feared the thing holding me back, I was pulled back into the room by a strong hand, I knew that it was over so I didn't

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