The Great Gatsby provides commentary on the social life and culture of America in 1920. The relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan is quintessential to The Great Gatsby. Through this relationship, the underlying theme of the materialistic proliferation of the 1920s is epitomized. Gatsby meets Daisy at a time in his youth when he has already transitioned from Gatz to Gatsby. Daisy represented an entirely different social class, one of money and status. Gatsby falls in love with all that Daisy represents rather than with the young girl herself. Based on lies told to Daisy by Gatsby regarding his social standing, Daisy promises to wait for Gatsby to return from the war. Sometime later, however, Daisy in submission to all that material wealth has to offer, marries Tom Buchanan. Gatsby, never having stopped loving Daisy, goes on a never-ending quest to recapture the past.
Masterfully, Fitzgerald also brings to light a strong awareness of social class characterized in the 1920s. Fitzgerald’s use of East and West Egg, two, by type of wealth old money versus new money and three, by one’s behavior or conduct as seen by Gatsby’s partygoers. Home to the old money wealth of Tom and Daisy Buchanan is East Egg with its single green light flashing at the end of the dock. This green light helps to symbolize Gatsby’s inability to attain full status as a gentleman regardless of his wealth.
The moral decay of the 1920s is evident in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The characters of the movie all display a non-existent moral code and show no concern for how their actions affect others. A lack of concern for one’s fellow man is shown through the absence of mourners at Gatsby’s funeral.
Through the characters of the novel the years of 1920-1929 are brought back to life again and again. Fitzgerald utilizes the power of words to tell of a generation past and expresses his concerns of a society gone astray.
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