Themes and Symbolisms in 'The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by povedaCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2006

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At first glance, "The Great Gatsby" is a story about a frustrated love between a man and a woman; however, when we look at the novel in its totality, we discover that its main theme covers way more than just a love story. Most of the story takes place in New York, around the summer of 1922, but it seems that the author is trying to portray symbols that are present not only in New York, but in the whole country around those years.

Throughout the years, people from all over the world have come to America in search of that so wanted, American Dream. A lot of these people who came looking for the American Dream and even Americans themselves were able to attain it; however, not all of them did it in a legitimate way. During the years after World War I, with the prohibition of the sale of alcohol, many people took advantage of this situation to make money, and they did so illegally.

In the novel, we have Gatsby, who had fought in the war, and have returned home with nothing but his uniform and his medals. Returning home empty-handed after all the sacrifices he made in the war, probably did not help much on shaping his character to fit in the 1920's American Society which was full of corruption and opportunities to be corrupt. During these years following the war, the rise of the stock market led to an unexpected but constant increase in the national wealth, which facilitated the means for people from any background to be able to make a fortune in a wink of an eye. Many people adhered to the guidelines of the American Dream (growing from nothing to wealthy by honest means); however, Gatsby's wild desire for wealth led...