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Great Gatsby Essay

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  • on April 1, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 3,541 words

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Below is an essay on "Great Gatsby" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.


The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

    I. THEME
        A. Decency, not wealth, is the supreme value
              i. First illustrated in Ch 1 in the quote by Nick’s dad
            ii. Everyone has a price – inversion of the American dream
                    1. If the end is acquisition of money, any means is justified
                    2. Policeman rescinds a ticket because of some connection with Gatsby
                    3. Myrtle is bought with a dog collar
                    4. Daisy is bought with a $350,000 pearl necklace
                    5. 1919 World Series was fixed by Wolfsheim
        B. The wasted American dream
              i. Post WWI America
                    1. shaken social mores
                    2. loss of innocence
                    3. culture shock
                    4. rejection of old generation values
                    5. high living/ opulence
            ii. Carpe Diem lifestyle
                    1. frivolity
                    2. extreme feeling of alienation and nonidentity
                    3. melancholy and nostalgia
                    4. discontent, disenchantment, longing for the way things used to be
                    5. availability of vehicles creates more carefree stance
                    6. prohibition widely violated: bootleggers, speakeasies, underworld activities
            iii. Social Satire – lit. “a dish of mixed fruit”; “potpourri”
                    1. every societal type represented
                    2. none seems happy
                    3. the “zeitgeist”, temper of the times, shapes the content and message of the novel
            iv. Rags-to-Riches – Horatio Alger stories
                    1. achieving the American dream requires sordid and degraded actions
                    2. a tawdry dream of self-love, greed, and corruption replaced the wholesomeness of the original dream founded on virtues and moral standards
                    3. material values are inextricably...

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