‘The Great Gatsby’ written by Fitzgerald is the quintessential novel that reflects American life in the 1920s. The author depicts the post WW I period which was characterized by a booming economy, large scale migration, and social upheaval mainly in the form of women’s liberation.
To begin with, Gatsby, the main protagonist of the novel, hails from North Dakota in the Midwest. He is a dreamer with charm and grace, and there is an air of mystery about him. He, in every sense, negates the term ‘great’. However, Gatsby’s humble beginnings and success make him a symbol of the great American dream (Fitzgerald, 105). Gatsby does everything possible to win the love of Daisy, and he realizes that he has to obtain wealth at any means if he wants to marry her. He thus transforms into a self-made man. Nevertheless, the persona of Gatsby is in question regardless of the positive traits he demonstrates. He plants stories of having killed a man and being a German spy when he meets Nick, who is related to Daisy. He informs Nick about his work in the military and that ‘every Allied government decorated him’ (71). However, Tom makes an attempt to explore Gatsby’s past; he soon finds out the truth that Gatsby was at Oxford for only five months. Like Gatsby, Daisy also is mysterious and likes to be so. Daisy is associated with the color white. For instance, she uses a white dress, white flowers, and a white car. She endears herself to everyone and appears chaste in a world of fraud. However, as the novel progresses, this mask seems to peel off.
Tom also is a fascinating character. He has got great power, which everyone wants. He is rich and extravagant. He has the potential to own a world. Tom is cruel too. He reflects the luxury any young American liked to attain. Tom provides Daisy all luxury. Yet she shows her ire at Tom for ‘discovering’ her affair.
The author comments on the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, which marked a unique phase in the history of America. The story takes place in the backdrop of this booming bond market. America was the land of opportunities and entrepreneurial activity during this period. In fact, the American Dream is an ethos designed for the social, cultural, religious and ethnic equality of residents of America with the objective of eliminating perspective barriers in an individual’s social life. However, in the social process of creating declared identities, people started displaying their enthusiasm to build recognizable status and gaining material riches.
Gatsby believed in his dream, but it brought him face-to-face with his own end. There’s a bit of Gatsby in everyone, and nothing is more pertinent than the words of Nick as he says that society is “boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (199). Nick is the only person with clear judgmental eyes. He is proud of maintaining his standard in this corrupt world. He calls himself “one of the few honest people that I have ever known” (170). The dreamers may perceive him as an individual who failed to access the world of the rich. Anyhow, Nick is an upright honest narrator who invites our thoughts to the consequences of unbridled prosperity.
Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. US: Real ROI, 2013. Print.