Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Illusion in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay -- essays p

Illusion in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Before writing The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald must have done thoughtful and extensive research. This is apparent because, to explore the novel's main theme, 'The American Dream', he chose to place it in the 1920s. This was, indeed, a perfect time slot because the 20s were notorious for the numerous ways in which they influenced the public. These years served as a defining point for many aspects of everyday life such as wealth, social status, and general 'success'. The American population during this time became obsessed with the term 'success' and exactly what it meant to be 'successful'. That was the common goal for just about everyone who lived during this time. Life was all about the 'American Dream'. Everyone wanted 'it all', and often times would go to great lengths to have it. Jay Gatsby, one of the main character in Fitzgerald's novel, was not unlike the rest of the people who lived during this time. Tragically, his own, personal obsession with wanting to have e verything eventually became his downfall. This was Fitzgerald's intention in writing this novel: to warn his readers that the 'American dream' can turn tragic if reality becomes too obscured by the overwhelming lust for money and material possessions. Jay Gatsby was born James Gatz; a man who was very ashamed of his heritage. He was a poor man whose family did not posses a name in society. His parents were "shiftless and unsuccessful farm people (pg. 104)". Gatsby's pathetic family situation was somewhat tolerable for him, for a little while. It was not until he met a girl named Daisy that he realized he was less than content with what little he possessed. Gatsby was very much in love with ... ...ove with more than one person. He reluctantly let her go back to Tom while he pondered over the waste he had made out of his life. He spent five years earning so much money and climbing all the way to the top that he forgot to secure the prize to be won. Gatsby died before he got to really achieve the happiness that he craved. His fate simply would not allow a poor man like him to go on living a lie. Gatsby's illusion became his ultimate downfall. Being rich, reputable, and on the arm of his true love had finally become a reality, until he realized it was not really HIM. He could not go on living a fantasy forever. It took Jay Gatsby a whole life of hardship to figure out that illusion and desire would always remain in his mind, and happiness was not money and pleasing others, it meant pleasing yourself through goodness: something he probably knew all along.

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