The Great Gatsby is written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and released in 1925. He has written several short stories, but this is without a doubt his most famous one. It is a novel that is crammed with different themes that could be discussed for a long period of time. This is one of many factums that makes this novel one of the most famous short stories throughout history.
The themes in this novel are everything from love to racism. Even though it said that The Great Gatsby is filled with several themes, I will say that there are just one main theme, and rather less important themes that substantiates this main theme. So, what are these themes and why are there just one main theme?The Great Gatsby is set in the summer of 1922.
Just after the World War one and during the prohibition. The story takes place in Long Island, in two areas known as East Egg and West egg. The narrator of the book Nick Carraway, who moves from the Midwest to New York to work in the bond business. Nick’s next door neighbor is Jay Gatsby. He is a bootlegger who once had a relationship with Daisy Buchanan, who is Nick’s cousin. When Nick first arrives in New York, he was invited to dinner with Daisy and her husband Tom. Further in the story Nick finds out that Daisy is still in love with Gatsby and Gatsby is still in love with her too. Nick is the one who brings them together, when he invites them both over to his own house for a cup of tea.
Nick manages to get Gatsby and Daisy together, and the meeting first reunion is awkward at first, but then Gatsby soon relaxes and invites Nick and Daisy back to his mansion. Gatsby and Daisy begin to see each other secretly with some frequency. Nick and Gatsby also become close throughout, as Nick is one of the only people who continues to support Gatsby despite the mysterious rumors that told about the man. In one of the last chapters Tom Buchanan eventually confronts Gatsby about Daisy in Manhattan, and the two argue at length about who it is that Daisy genuinely loves. Daisy claims to love both of them, but she decides to return to Long Island with Gatsby, not her husband. Performance Performance seems like a miner theme, but it very relevant for the story. Throughout the novel, there are being described many high class event and parties, where there a being spent a lot of money on alcohol and other things that would make people satisfied. As a whole, these performances contribute to the feeling of luxury and privilege that is shown in the party parts in the book.
Individually, they give readers a view into life in the Jazz Age, where excessive drinking, partying, and recklessness often led to disaster, as it does in this novel.Of all the different performances in this novel, the most important one are from people pretending to be something or someone they’re not. This could be said of all the guests at Gatsby’s party, who, in attempting to have fun and make connections, pretend to be happier and more successful than many of them actually are. Jordan Baker, for instance, cheated at a pro golf tournament once but still acts like a champion. Nick pretends not to think much of the parties he attends, but that’s all he can write about. And of course Gatsby pretends to be someone greater than he is, even taking the name “Gatsby” to hide his true identity: Jimmy Gatz, the son of farmers from North Dakota.
Money and MaterialismMoney and wealth are key themes in the novel and function as a basic awareness to the character’s social status. Tom, for instance, descends from “old money” and carries himself like somebody who is used to privilege and prestige. In contrast to the people who live in West Egg, including Gatsby, are members of a class of people who have only recently earned their money, without having to rely on their family’s old money. East Egg and West Egg shows the divide between the old money and the new and represent the social separation which it was a lot of in New York City (and the nation as a whole) in that time period.Hand in hand with money comes materialism, which stems from the desire for not only wealth or privilege but things that will display one’s wealth. For example Gatsby’s house, with its hired orchestra and absurdly beautiful garden.
Perhaps the best example of materialism is when Daisy gets the pearl necklace worth $350,000 that Tom gives her. Her feelings are effectively bought by this necklace and by the promise of more like it. Daisy wants nothing more than to be safe and secure financially. That is why Gatsby has to be rich in order to win her back. Her view of being wealthy is more important to Daisy than his love, and his love is more important to him than being wealthy in general. This is the biggest differences between Gatsby and Daisy.The American DreamThe American Dream is one of the most important and in my opinion, the main theme in the novel.
Nick tells us that he read a series of finance books in the hopes of making his fortune. Fitzgerald uses a variety of literary devices to portray the American Dream. One example is the the green light that symbolizes Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for a life with Daisy. Another symbol is the Valley of the Ashes, which represents the ugly consequences of America’s obsession with wealth. Fitzgerald uses these symbols to convey the illusory nature of the American Dream. Fitzgerald uses this comparison of bankers and pioneers to suggest that the American Dream of owning land and making a name for one’s self has been subsumed by the desire to become rich and thereby perpetuate a capitalist system.This desire to be rich and successful is an very important thing in Gatsby’s dream of reuniting with Daisy. He was willing to do anything to achieve this dream, including getting involved with Mr.
Wolfsheim’s businesses. In a odd way, the bootlegging that makes Gatsby rich enough to get Daisy’s love, is also one of the main reasons he loses her, because when Tom tells her about it in Chapter VII she hesitates and thinks twice about leaving him for Gatsby. Gatsby’s dream collapses because, like the American Dream as a whole, it has been corrupted by money and power to the point where it is no longer real or achievable. In that sense, both Gatsby’s dream and the larger American Dream dies even before Wilson pulls the trigger. By have taken a look at these three themes, you can clearly see that they do have a lot in common. You can also see that you need money, materialism and the best performance you possibly can get to achieve The American Dream. It is evident that there are more themes than The American Dream, but if think of other possible themes like hope, safety or corruption, then you could put these under The American Dream as subthemes.