Moralism in The Great Gatsby

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The book, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, deals with the issue of morals and humanity's errors. A lack of moral values and convictions within the characters of The Great Gatsby leads to their own downfall. As examples of humanity's wrongs, Fitzgerald uses the characters of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby represents the broken heart that cannot let go while Daisy gets caught in a glimpse of greatness and lacks any type of morals.

Jay Gatsby exemplifies his peers by his goals in life and his integrity. Gatsby doesn't follow the laws of prohibition and he sells illegal alcohol through his drug store chain. Gatsby came east looking for another type of wealth- Daisy's love. Although Gatsby has become financially and socially successful, he continues to strive for a distant dream; to regain his relationship with Daisy. Gatsby's one fatal flaw is his strive for unrealistic dreams.

"He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way . . .and distinguished nothing except a simple green light"(Fitzgerald 26). This shows how Gatsby was striving for his goal, trying to accomplish it, but not finding it to be within realistic reach. Gatsby is a noble man whose vision is fouled by his dream because he remains in a wonder at Daisy's presence throughout the novel. The morality of Dan Cody, Gatsby's role model, and the superficial people who flock to Gatsby's parties contribute to Gatsby's downfall. Their examples encourage Gatsby's naïve belief that money and social standing are all that matter in his quest for Daisy. Gatsby became corrupted because his main goal was to have Daisy, at all costs. Gatsby sacrificed his own soul in order to please the lost soul of Daisy. Perhaps the poverty in which James Gatz found himself in was...