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

How far do you agree that The Great Gatsby is a moral work? What do you think Fitzgerald is saying about American society in the period through the characters in the novel?

Extracts from this document...


Lorna McGoldrick Explorations in Literature. Assignment One, F.Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby Q. How far do you agree that The Great Gatsby is a moral work? What do you think Fitzgerald is saying about American society in the period through the characters in the novel? The author of The Great Gatsby, Francis Scott key Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota. He grew up in an upper- middle class family. The Great Gatsby, first published in 1925, which Fitzgerald himself considered a masterpiece. It attained excellent review, with T.S. Eliot being among the first to comment on the book, calling it, "the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James." (Web 1) More recent Tony Tanner claimed it to be "the most perfectly crafted work of fiction to come out of America." (Tanner, 2000). The Great Gatsby is set in the 1920's, a period when business was booming and a time of material demands, a period hailed as the "jazz age" by the author. The Fitzgerald's had belonged to the "jazz age", and doubtless enjoyed the trappings of the era. It is my belief that the novel is a satirical view of American society in the 1920's. ...read more.


Another reflection on the immoralities of the period is how Gatsby makes his money. We discover that, through his dealings with Dan Cody, he has made his fortune by illegal sale of alcohol. As Gatsby's wealth grew he moved to New York. His house is located in West Egg. The house is described as a rather artificial place, "it was a factual imitation of some Hotel De Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool" Pg 11. Here we see how wealth is used to provide an artificial fa´┐Żade to Gatsby's life. The location of Gatsby's house is chosen as an attempt to impress Daisy with his so-called wealth, a clear misuse of his ill gained money. Gatsby's house is furnished to a very high standard, but these books and antiques are just Gatsby's way of showing off his wealth to others. However Gatsby does not really care for materialism, we can tell this because his bedroom, the only room he really ever uses, is empty compared to the rest of the house. The whole illusion of his lifestyle, house and parties, hide his main goal in life, to win the love of Daisy. ...read more.


He shows us that a society that once lived by strict moral and ethical codes and a belief in democracy and equality for all has been corrupted by the new world that grew up after World War 1. In the 1920's people had discovered new wealth and freedoms but then began living their lives extravagantly and excessively, disregarding everything and everyone that were not a part of their 'social class'. This was the world of the East. The world of the West, where Nick arrived from, was quite different. Their world still reflected the morals and beliefs of the first settlers. It was a moral world where anything was possible, where dreams could come true. Gatsby was also from this world, but his dreams were destroyed in the East by its corruption and his own faulty visions. The novel, although set in America in the 1920's, could relate to any country and any period of time. Everyone who reads this novel can take something away from it, a lesson, a lesson that people and feelings mean more than money and materialistic trappings. Biblography : Tanner, Tony. The American Mystery: American Literature from Emerson to DeLillo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2000. (Web 1) http://www.helm-information.co.uk/fsfitzgerald.htm - accessed 7th March 2003 Reference - Penguin Popular Classics - The Great Gatsby (1994) - York Notes on The Great Gatsby (1980) 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 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 University Degree F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. The House of Pride and the House of Holiness - The Comparison.

    The House of Holiness is well organized and disciplined, almost like a monastery, while the House of Pride is organized loosely and without discipline, like a court.

  2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald exposes the American society during the 1920's.

    Fitzgerald also uses the character of Tom's wife, Daisy, to explore the decline of the moral family. Daisy grew up in an artificial world. Being rich she had many men and everything she wanted was handed to her on a silver platter.

  1. The Great Gatsby setting anaylsis

    Tom and Myrtle have an affair throughout the novel and when Tom punches Myrtle in the face and when Daisy kills her in the end we see how much they really care about people who are socially below them. Nick notices that Tom and Daisy do not care about anyone but themselves and their money.

  2. Tom and Gatsby: Contrasting Differences As Seen Through Nick

    for that reason, he stays focused on his dream to obtain the love of Daisy, Tom's wife. Another important difference between Gatsby and Tom is that Gatsby is a dreamer, and Tom is practical. An important metaphor in the book is a green light at the end of the Buchanan

  1. Is the Twentieth century American novel a medium for social criticism? (discuss at least ...

    It is clear that Tom can offer her the status that Gatsby never can, he is an aristocrat that belongs in "fashionable East Egg", whereas Gatsby, however much money he makes cannot escape the fact that he will always be viewed by upper class society as "Mr Nobody from Nowhere".

  2. The analyzation of The Great Gatsby.

    Jay Gatsby searches for his identity through love. The money he earns is simply something he needs to help him find the love he has dreamed of for years. Gatsby seeks a love that is concocted in his head and therefore unrealistic. When Gatsby first meets Daisy she is young, beautiful, rich and very much out of his league.

  1. Compare and contrast the writers' presentation of Gatsby and Heathcliff.

    A self-confession giving vital information to us - this being that what Nick says can be taken as an objective view or judgement. His actions throughout the novel, including his contempt towards Tom Buchanan and Daisy following their response to Gatsby's death, and his noble attempts to gather supposed friends

  2. The Great Gatsby's Green Light and American Optimism

    large in 2012, which makes The Great Gatsby a more timely novel than ever in an election year that assesses the lofty promise of four years ago (that is, until the book is all the more poignant in another decade of American life and the attitudes that buoy it).

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