Society's Corruption Depicted In 'The Great Gatsby'

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Molly Palu English AP Ms. Robertson November 5, 2011 Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust Ashes drift languidly through the air like snowflakes while children make angels in the dark powder around them. In man’s quest to conquer the world, he has left behind a blazing trail of destruction. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby, demonstrates society’s corruption during the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, which continues to exist in today’s modern society. The privileged Nick Carraway spends his summer in the affluent East and West Egg of Long Island, New York. His shabby cottage is easily overlooked by the extravagant mansion of Jay Gatsby. It seems as if Gatsby has it all but Fitzgerald shows us that nothing is ever quite as it seems.…show more content…
The valley of ashes emulates this moral decay through the unpleasant events that take place there. Nick recognizes the fragile state of George Wilson after he uncovers the truth of Myrtle’s infidelity, “He had discovered that Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him in another world, and the shock had made him physically sick” (124). George is stricken with “shock” upon apprehending the grave news. Myrtle had taken advantage of her husband’s trusting disposition as she fluttered carelessly into “another world” of wealth and glamor. Morality aside, she “[walks] through her husband as if he were a ghost” (26), completely disregarding his emotions. Another example of adultery in the novel is Gatsby’s relationship with the married Daisy Buchanan. He finally reunites with his dream girl after five years of separation, however, Tom eventually learns of his wife’s betrayal, “I stared at him[Wilson] then at Tom, who had made a parallel discovery less than an hour before…” (124) He is enraged at the news and sees no justification in Daisy’s actions despite his own unfaithfulness. Tom and Daisy’s disloyalty further projects their lack of respect and
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