Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby describes "The unending quest after the romantic dream, which is forever betrayed in fact" (Robert Omstein) Is it inevitable that dreams fail in this novel? The wild profligacy of Gatsby's parties, the shallowness and aimlessness of the guests and the hint of Gatsby's participation in theft and crime all identify the period and the American setting. But as a piece of social commentary "The Great Gatsby" also portrays the breakdown of the American dream, from the viewpoint that American political ideals conflict with the actual society since American democracy is based on the equality between people, the truth is that social discrimination still existed and the divisions among the classes could not be overcome. This made the dream of many of which is to become part of the higher social class, represented by East Egg, impossible to attain. In the novel, Myrtle is one of the characters whose desires spring from social ambitions. She wanted to fit into the higher social values and to do so she had an affair with Tom and imitates his way of living, but it results in her becoming as vulgar and corrupt. Her dreams and ambitions resulted in her death. She therefore finds herself failing to reach her dreams and becomes only a shell of what she yearns to be. Gatsby's dreams on the other hand are more of a significant struggle. Unlike Myrtle's desire, which springs from social ambitions, Gatsby's dreams are related more to his idealism and his confidence in life's potentials. Undoubtedly, his desire is also influenced by social considerations; Daisy, who is wealthy and beautiful, represents a way of life, which is remote from Gatsby's and therefore more attractive because it is out of reach. However, social consciousness is not a basic cause. It simply directs and focuses Gatsby's belief in life's possibilities. Like Myrtle, Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group, but his attempt is more vital because his whole faith in life is involved in it.