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The Satirical View Of The Great Gatsby English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 872 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The American Dream. The goal to which every American want to reach. It meant everyone no matter who they were, where the came from, or who they were going to be could succeed in life through their skill and hard work. Another word for it was self-made man. The Great Gatsby is a satirical story about the American dream. In the novel the characters do not show the hard work to reach their goal but the corrupted pursuit of wealth. The characters show spiritual pleasure of power, money, fame, success, glamour. The American Dream also includes the perfect family. Marriages that last forever. However, in the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald is satirizing the American Dream, shown through marital problems, anserine character ambitions, and society¿½s immoral expectations.

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Everyone has ambitions, these things come naturally to humans. However those ambitions can often change when something comes between them. Gatsby proves to be in love with Daisy and attempts to sweep her off her feet. ¿½Gatsby is a romantic, a man who began with a high, even exalted, vision of himself and his destiny¿½ (Witkoski par.4), Gatsby was born with success written on his forehead. His father knew it to, ¿½He had a big future before him you know. He was only a young man but he had a lot of brain power here¿½ (Fit 177), James Gatz was someone who had everything under control and his schedule showed that, it seemed like he was ready for everything except for love. When Gatsby fell in love with Daisy is magnificent ambitions turned anserine. ¿½Greatness, which he associates with Daisy¿½ (Witkoski par.4), Gatsby made his world revolve around Daisy. Gatsby the once great man knows that Daisy is all about the wealth, and so he thought that if he had the money she would come running to him, ¿½He believes that if he is rich, then Daisy can be his¿½ (Witkoski par. 5). However, there was no easy way to get that money fast and the right way. Daisy¿½s, ¿½vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty¿½ (Trask par. 7), pushed Gatsby¿½s great ambitions into the mud. He wanted her so bad that he started selling drugs. His ambitions to be ludicrous and probably the most successful man in the 20¿½s were long gone. That great James Gatz got lost between Gatsby¿½s passions for Daisy. However, Gatsby was unsuccessful. Daisy did not want to lose her social status and so she stayed with her equally rich husband Tom. Although Gatsby ruined his life by falling in love with Daisy and following his foolish ambitions, it was the same ambition that made the book great. If Fitzgerald had just let Gatsby stay James Gatz then he would have never fallen in love with Daisy, causing him to have no connections with the rest of the characters, and it would take away the romantic and mysterious mood from the story. On the other hand, Fitzgerald used Gatsby¿½s anserine ambitions to satirize the American dream. In the American dream men are supposed to find a woman, not a married one, and get married start a family and have a respectful job. Whereas, Gatsby was shown as the complete opposite to mock the dream. He found a married woman, had an affair with her, and sold drugs to get rich, showing his anserine ambitions.

Society. A word that¿½s definition should include the fact that it is a fear of many. The many includes a number of characters of The Great Gatsby. An example would be Gatsby himself. ¿½I didn¿½t know what you¿½d want, Mr. Gatsby-¿½ (Fitzgerald 176). ¿½Gatz is my name¿½ (Fitzgerald 176), when Nick went to address Gatsby¿½s father he was corrected by being told his fathers name is Gatz not Gatsby. If one really thinks deep why Gatsby changed his name then it would probably bring the reader back to society. Gatsby changed his name so that he would be accepted into society and people would respect him(Griffin).Another character affected by society is Tom. ¿½The fact that he had one was insisted upon wherever he was known¿½ (Fitzgerald 28) Tom has a mistress not because he needed one; it was just something all the upper class men did. It was an expected thing of these men. Whenever one hears, ¿½I want you to meet my girl¿½ (Fitzgerald 28), they think of wife, fianc¿½e, and girlfriend but in Tom¿½s case it is his mistress. Society¿½s immoral influence is shown significantly through Tom when he tells Nick to meet his mistress. The person he is telling just happens to be his wife¿½s cousin but Tom does not care. For him it is the same as smoking a cigarette behind his wife¿½s back, everyone but the wife can know. Society¿½s immoral expectations altered Gatsby and Tom¿½s lives. Society¿½s expectations led to Tom¿½s need for a mistress and Nick¿½s name change from Gatz to Gatsby. Society is a big part of the book because everything revolves around it. The characters make sure they do not do anything that might jeopardize their social status. Daisy for example, chose Tom over Gatsby because it may have affected the views society had for her. The American Dream is often viewed as elegant and something everyone longed for. However Fitzgerald mocks it by portraying it as unattainable and something to be feared of by placing society as a life goal in a few of his characters.


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