"The Great Gatsby", F. Scott Fitzgerald - Critism of American Society.

Essay by sunhiker01 January 2006

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"The Great Gatsby is a severe indictment of the value system of a particular segment of American society in the twenties."

With close reference to the novel, examine the major issues that F. Fitzgerald explores and faults he exposes.


On the surface, "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic love story but the theme, is in fact a harsh criticism on the American society in the 1920s. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the disintegration of the American Dream, through decayed moral and social values, materialism, careless gaiety, hollowness and social discrimination that existed in those times.

Fitzgerald explores the fall of the American Dream in a corrupt era of decayed social and moral values. The main idea of the American Dream was that everyone, no matter who you were, could become successful through hard work and perseverance. But this dream was corrupted as the great economic boom came into turn.

People received higher wages, spending in enormous amounts, drawn by unnecessary appliances that advertisements stated they could not live without. In the novel, Tom and Daisy possess many material items such as an enormous house, a car and polo ponies, but still they remain miserable. Gatsby also possesses many material items and is still unhappy. This shows that people gain material wealth but remain spiritually bankrupt. Gatsby's dream (symbolizing the American Dream) is doomed to fall from the beginning by the fact that his ideal was Daisy and that it was her wealth and social status that drew him to her in the first place. Gatsby sees perfection in Daisy, whereas the reader can clearly see that she is far from it and is only consumed by the materialistic values of her social class (as was society in the 20s). "Her voice is full of money." Fitzgerald has used...