A Reader posted a review at 2008-12-01 06:29:07.
The Great Gatsby
The American novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, focuses on the weakening of the American Dream in the 1920s. It is a story about a man named Jay Gatsby, who is rich and throws parties often to attract a woman, Daisy, whom he has loved for a long time. Daisy also likes Gatsby, but she does not know the truth about his wealth, and the major drawback is that she is already married to Tom. Despite the romance, the novel itself portrays the United States during the 1920s, an age where materialism played big role in the human society. The overall theme, the decline of the American dream, is portrayed with symbols and the setting.
This novel takes place in Long Island, New York, during summer in 1922. 1920s appeared to be a decade of unlimited economic prosperity of the United States. It was also the time when the American Dream rose; people believed that with money, they could do everything. Gatsby is trying to gain Daisy’s love by showing off his wealth to people. However Gatsby’s wealth is corrupt, since people in the 1920s could easily make money due to the rise of stock markets after World War I. The author tried to represent the corruptness of this age by using Gatsby as a character who becomes rich by working for drug deals.
There are symbols in The Great Gatsby that portray the 1920s. First, the Valley of ashes, which comes out in Chapter two, depicts the poor and the completely opposite side of wealth. The tone of the author, when he mentions this valley, is dark. “…Where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (Fitzgerald, 23). Fitzgerald shows that next to the wealth, there are always the poor by writing about the valley of ashes. Another symbol in the novel is the green light that portrays hopes and dreams of the people back then.
F. Scott Fitzgerald uses setting and symbols to show the reader the reality of the 1920s. It was a decade when people got obsessed with money and tried to do gain everything with money. This gradually let people became corrupted and let people to become prosperous easily. Gatsby and his background is a perfect character that describes the 1920s.