Study of 'The Great Gatsby'by Valerie Burton
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The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is set in New York City and Long Island during the Prohibition era. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald associated this moment in American history – the Jazz Age – with materialism ("I want things! Lots of things!") and immorality. Materialism and immortality were the name of the game for many of the newly wealthy of the post-World War I era. The novel's star is Jay Gatsby, a young, rich man in love with a society girl from his past. A girl who, as it happens, is married to someone else.
The Great Gatsby deals at great length with issues of the past, present, and future. In love with a girl of the past, Gatsby is unable to have her again in the present.
The Great Gatsby does not offer a definition of love, or a contrast between love and romance – but it does suggest that what people believe to be love is often only a dream
The Great Gatsby is set among wealthy, educated people, who have lots of leisure time and little concern about people who are not in their social milieu. Nobody’s concerned about politics or spiritual matters but everybody cares about how they are perceived socially
In The Great Gatsby, the only element not restricted to one class is unhappiness. All members of all classes have this in common. In The Great Gatsby, social norms and expectations lead to insurmountable barriers for relationships between men and women of different classes.
Gatsby’s experiences in New York prove that the “American Dream” is not only a difficult goal to reach for, but is truly an impossible dream to achieve during this era of American life.
the characters are always in the company of others, the isolation is an internal one, stemming from their inability to truly experience intimacy with one another.
Although Nick seems to be everybody’s closest friend and confidante, he is the loneliest, most alienated character in the book.
Society and Class
Women and Femininity
Visions of America
Memory and The Past
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