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

Moral Conscience in The Great Gatsby

Extracts from this document...


Jessica Ethier McCray English III AP 13 March 2007 Moral Conscience The nineteen twenties is a decade often referred to as the "Jazz Age" or the "Roaring Twenties". Nineteen twenties New York, is the setting for The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby, a prosperous, intelligent young man who easily falls prey to the extravagant parties, beautiful women, and organized crime of the nineteen twenties. The majority of characters in the novel give in to the same ideas, throwing their inhibitions to the wind, and overlooking morality. Two roles in the novel constantly remind these corrupt people that though they are enjoying their newfound hobbies, someone is constantly watching and judging them. Two roles, Nick Carraway and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg represent the moral conscience of the characters of The Great Gatsby. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg symbolize the carelessness of the characters in the novel, an omnipotent God, and the corruption of society. ...read more.


The eyes constantly remind the characters that though they are enjoying their time however they do so desire, there is constantly someone watching and judging them. Conscience is a sense that "leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action" (Webster). The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg constantly remind the characters that they do have a conscience, as well as a sense of morality. Though Nick Carraway introduces himself as a person who is not one to judge people, "inclined to reserve all judgments" (Fitzgerald 1), he is a figure in the novel that functions as a center of moral and "compositional activity" whom constantly judges all characters in the novel (Taylor 156). Nick judges other characters because he is "enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life" (MSN). Nick Carraway, "a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler," (Fitzgerald 4) ...read more.


Through the eyes and thoughts of Nick Carraway the reader is allowed to see the extreme corruptness of the nineteen twenties society. Fitzgerald employed Nick Carraway as the narrator of The Great Gatsby in order to enable the reader to feel so strongly the strangeness of human circumstance in a vast heedless universe that he has successfully embodied in The Great Gatsby. Corruption best describes the nineteen twenties: an era where extravagant parties full of gangsters and bootleggers, extensive consumptions of liquor, and organized crime were sadly common. It is rare to find a character from this time that has not fallen victim to these tempting ideas. In The Great Gatsby, most characters are involved in many of these activities though they know that they are going against any moral values they once had in doing so. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg and Nick Carraway represent the moral conscience of the characters in The Great Gatsby, the only characters that hold true to their moral values. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. How and why George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four used Winstons memory as the drive ...

    time, Winston finds it secure to hold on to what he remembers, his memory to barricade himself from being infatuated with the Party's doctrine. The evidence is shown when Winston vividly Julia's direction of their first meeting's secret place. Though Julia explained to him "With a sort of military precision that astonished him," (Orwell, 2008, p.

  2. Extended Essay - A Dream Deferred Both Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and ...

    The explosion did not come overnight though: there was plenty of violence and bloodshed for African-American rights, but in the end Langston Hughes and many other influential blacks were successful in their fight for justice. In many ways, this poem is a very good explanation of the deferred American Dream.

  1. WIT Essay_Zorba the Greek_Personification of Dyonisian and Epicurean Values in Zorba

    cope with, such as the grief over the death of his son. Zorba portrays the Dionysian way by choosing dance as his preferred medium of expression, since language is an inadequate tool for expressing his most extreme feelings. Zorba also uses dance to narrate what he is unable to say.

  2. Great Gatsby

    ?Then she remembered the heat and sat down guilty on the couch?? (117). This symbol is important to the novel because it is representing the climax of the story and how things are finally reaching their breaking point thus Gatsby and Tom having their confrontation.

  1. Comparison of Violence in The Catcher in the Rye with Their Eyes Were Watching ...

    With greed, pure hypocrisy, and narcissism, Holden found himself in a situation where he could do nothing but fight against this shadow of what he had so despised. Ironically, in fighting away this perceived stigma, Holden had become alone.

  2. In the Great Gatsby, there are many lies that are told throughout the story

    The money was from Dan Cody and also from his bootlegger business. Gatsby lies about almost his whole life because he wanted Daisy to notice him. He wanted Daisy to notice his large parties hoping that one day she would come to him.

  1. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald utilizes contrast as a literary device to emphasize on ...

    Hence, this signifies how those that work are not being rewarded and their inability to climb the social ladder. This is a reflection of the American dream being impossible to attain as the rich get richer by exploiting the poor, and the poor remain in poverty despite hard work.

  2. Consider the narrators role in the Great Gatsby

    He introduced his own background story of being born into a prominent and well-to-do family which further rectifies his position as a narrator. He describes the societal setting of the story whereby there is an existence of a mélange of social classes.

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