Exploring Old New York - The Great Gatsby



The Great Gatsby is a story that lives on in the imaginations of viewers. Through the epic love story with Jay and Daisy, we are given a glimpse into the American Dream as it entails from the sacrifice of one person. In the following essay, two main points of argument will be stressed. The first argument will argue that Gatsby’s death is resemblance of the sacrifice required for the American Dream ; the second, that the notoriety present in the novel is a lessen to all readers — to be cautious in times of glory.


One of the most prevalent themes in the Great Gatsby is Jay’s struggle to enter to Daisy’s world; that theme is the struggle to enter old society where values of class and high society are still relished. According to Nick, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.” In saying this, he meant that Gatsby’s struggle to attain Daisy’s love is symbolic of the greater meaning that Gatsby would be, metaphorically, a sacrifice for future people to pave the way for the American Dream. The members of the upper class believed that because Gatsby earned his riches through illegal means that he didn’t deserve to treated with the same respect and put on the same pedestal that similar members of their society where. While many people may argue that Gatsby’s life was a tragedy, it should rather be regarded that his life be regarded as an act of heroism for people to remember what is important in times of triumph and glory. Gatsby worked many jobs and got promoted to an army general to prove to Daisy that he was capable of earning riches, however, in the end, Daisy - a representation of the ignorance of upper class society at the time — failed to honour those sacrifices. The American Dream today is alive because of the many sacrifices that our forefathers made — from striving to open the western states to escape from european colonialism to those who sacrificed their lives in the name of the Confederacy during the American Civil War — there are so many people who paved a road for the next generation to ease into. What Gatsby sacrificed and proved, in essence, is that anyone who preserves against adversity can make a living for himself and that he can fight against the status quo. During the 1920s, he proved to be an important harbinger for millions of young people wanting to make a living for themselves in an age of unprecedented growth and uncertainty. What may seem on the surface as cruel love tragedy is in it’s foundations a deep lessen of the sacrifice required to attain the seemingly elusive American Dream.


Nick recalls that his father gave him some powerful advice when he was younger.“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told [Nick]” just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” This quote aggregates together all the divisions in class and society that the novel illustrates. From Daisy’s husband Tom criticizing Gatsby to be a bootlegger who got his money illegally, to Tom’s mistress marrying someone to improve her social status, The Great Gatsby cautions against excess notoriety in every social sphere. Coming back after the World War 2, both Nick and Jay had ambitions to make a name for themselves in this new society at the time. However for Jay Gatsby, getting caught up in the flamboyant status society of New York at time hindered him to loosen his morals. He was so caught up in pursuing an elusive goal and materialist goals that he forgot the essence of love. For Daisy, she was also obsessed with power and wealth that she placed barricades between her and Jay. Every one of the characters in Great Gatsby failed to see the bonds that tie them together and focused on the bonds that pull them apart. Because of the excess notoriety and concentration on class divisions that separate people, society as a whole began falling apart. Fitzgerald was in no way to predict the stock market crash of 1929, but he frequently alluded to those tensions in society that only accelerated a lack of trust in one’s morals. The American Dream was supposed to be one that centred around strong moral values — strength of character and family values-however, as class divisions began to raise, people began to focus on other definitions of that dream — the materialism and superficial wealth — ignoring the true meaning of the American Dream. Thus, the Great Gatsby is a cautionary tale against excess, against the forces of human selfishness, and serves as a tale for us to remember the importance of our relationships in life, regardless if we are rich or poor, because those relationships and they way that we invest our time and energy into them will eventually determine our own destinies.



When the roaring 20s was in its heyday, Jay Gatsby was the centrepiece of New York society. He had tried to change the conventions of old New York and eventually paved the way for millions of young people to start their dreams, leading by example that it was heroic to fight against the status quo in society. However, readers should be cautionary against excess in all times of life, because they eventually lead to dismal situations, tear down communities, and break relationships.

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