The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by briansgirl0413College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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The book The Great Gatsby was a major influence in its time. The book discussed topics that were interesting, important, and controversial. This book explores the American Dream, as it exists in a dishonest period.

The main theme in the book deals with the decline in morals and values. The Great Gatsby describes the decline of the American Dream, and the want for money and materialistic things. The book also explains the gap between the rich and the poor. Fitzgerald used the West Egg and the Valley of Ashes to describe the gap. He also used the differences between the East Egg and the West Egg. The West Egg was where the newly rich lived, Like Nick and Gatsby. The West Egg also was not that fashionable compared to the East Egg. "Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water..." (p.5) The East Egg was where people lived who were born with money or had their money before the 1920's came around.

The Valley of Ashes was a desolate wasteland created by the dumping of industrial ashes. " This is a valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses, chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air." (p.23) To me this represents the moral and social decay that resulted from the empty pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulged themselves without thought about anything or anyone.

The main narrative is Nick Carraway, who not only narrates the book, but also implies that he is the books author. Nick's attitude throughout the book is contradictory. At times, he disapproves of Gatsby's manner and...