In Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, he honestly portrays the 1920's through his narrative, Nick Carraway, who claims to be impartial by reserving all judgment, and is able to provide the most accurate depiction of Gatsby's life, which, becomes very important because Fitzgerald is able to utilize Gatsby's complex character to criticize the 1920's and the American dream that swept the nation.
The 1920's was a time of optimism and the pursuit of unreachable dreams, causing Gatsby to follow the American Dream and search for a better life, in his case , a life with Daisy, which is as unattainable as the pink cloud that they planned to live in. Fitzgerald forces Gatsby's character to follow the American Dream, which he criticizes through creating Gatsby's life as so glamorous on the surface, but deep down is very empty and unsatisfying. For example, "Gatsby believed in the green light, which symbolized his yearning for Daisy, and ...It
eluded [him]" pg. 159, causing Gatsby's life to be as pathetic as the valley of ashes. By making the American Dream unattainable for Gatsby, the one man, who is said to have everything, it paints a very gloomy picture for the "ashmen" who trudge through the valley of ashes day after day and have nothing to show for their pathetic live, which like Mr. Wilson only prove to get worse as time goes on.
Fitzgerald, continues to criticizes the foolishness of the American dream by having Gatsby earn his money and power through immoral and illegal actions, which show just how hard and how much one has to give up to come just that much closer to reaching the impossible. He also portrays Gatsby's false sense of achievement of the American dream by endowing him with the gaudy taste that is associated with...