Great Gatsby by F.S.Fitzgerald

Date: Oct 25, 2018


The Great Gatsby by F.S. Fitzgerald is one of the most considerable works of the author where the main idea surrounds a question of the American Dream and a pursuit of happiness. The author describes his epoch and a tragic story of life of the main character, Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald is one of the most significant authors of the time, and his works continue to be highly appreciated by the modern generation. His novels are devoted to the subject of the American Dream, where his heroes waste their lives trying to achieve success and wealth, however, failing to recognize the real values. In The Great Gatsby, the author describes the hidden side of wealthy life trying to warn the society about the decay of materialized and cruel world where he lived.

American Dream

The Great Gatsby has become a critical work by Fitzgerald and is often defined as a reflection of the American society of 1920s. The plot of the story revolves around the American Dream of 1920s and the main values of those times. It is the period of a constant celebration where magnificent life is the key goal. The main values of the epoch are wealth, leisure, and success. In their constant striving to make a fortune, people forget about feelings and love, which has a too high cost. The main character, Jay Gatsby, devotes his life to a fantasy of the perfect world.

As in any of Fitzgerald's works, the author widely applies symbolism as a stylistic approach. The lighthouse in the story is a symbol of Jay Gatsby's hopes and dreams he will never achieve. He is a poor boy from the middle class rejected by the girl of his dream, Daisy. The central lines in the book are dedicated to the American Dream. All characters are divided into rich and poor with high and low statuses. The main hero sees happiness in wealth, which reflects the main values of the Americans of 1920’s. The author vividly describes the parties made on the highest level, magnificent houses full of wealth and beautiful people who enjoy their life. However, there is only emptiness beside this demonstrative happiness, where everything is dedicated to wealth.

Corruption is the Core of the Business

Another issue of the American society of that time is how that opulence is gained and by what approaches. Corruption is the core of the business in 1920s. In order to get profits and realize the American Dream, people get involved in crime and corruption. Gatsby is a good person; however, he achieves his wealth by engaging in criminal business, illegal alcohol production. His methods of gaining money are not lucid; however, a question arises: is it possible to earn well in a legal way? Therefore, the book by Fitzgerald is a reflection of time where corruption is deeply rooted in every business activity. The majority of businesses in 1920s were criminal. In order to gain money, people ignored ethical issues.

Jay has a low status, and his American Dream is to become a member of elite society and deserve love of Daisy. However, he cannot achieve this goal as he was born in another world, and elite society will never accept him. This problem can be considered as a result of the period, where social stratification was extremely evident. People from lower classes had no chance of improving their statuses legally. Gatsby devotes his life to achieve success and prove Daisy that he deserves her. In his turn, Gatsby Jay is destroyed by the life he dreamed of.

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The love to a woman from the highest class damages all Jay’s life. He fails to understand that he has created love in his imagination, and the world he considers ideal is counterfeit. The main idea of the story is to show the real-world American Dream and its counterfeit values. The main character devotes the life to the pursuit of luxury life thinking that it can bring happiness. In reality, however, all is devoted to achievement of success; and money plays a significant role in every aspect of life in America of 1920’s.

The lighthouse in The Great Gatsby

The lighthouse in The Great Gatsby is the symbol of the American dream, happiness and a wonderful world (Bruccoli, 2000). The issue is that the hero is wrong in interpreting happiness as he views it in success, parties and wealth, but not in what is inside a person. Love and close people are the most valuable, instead of those who appreciate the status and wealth only.

The Disappointment

The disappointment is the main subject in Fitzgerald's works. In The Great Gatsby, the author demonstrates the two aspects of life. The first one is bright, sparkling, beautiful, but fake; and the second one incorporates the themes of unhappiness and disappointment. The magic of the word of constant parties and pleasures becomes a part of the social life for rich Americans. Nevertheless, there always remains a hidden side of corruption, crime, poverty and devastation as a leitmotif of the epoch. The main character understands his mistakes and feels the emptiness of life. What is more, Jay is a typical hero of the period, whose dreams break after many years of pleasure. It is the time when people face their debts after years of celebration and cheerfulness they had lived. In the end of the story, the main hero understands how wrong he was.

Fitzgerald considers that people live in the world of materialism, where the main objective is the achievement of' the American Dream. According to Beckwith (2013), all they long for is “to become part of elite, and, as a result people forget about real vital values which cannot bring happiness. Not only in love, but in each aspect Fitzgerald shows how a fake and full of evil was the time of 20s.”

Jay sees the life of rich people of the highest social class as perfect and happy, where everybody is well-mannered and smartly dressed. He dreams of an environment full of beautiful things and wealth. Nevertheless, he does not see the reality of this world where people can be cruel, indifferent, and materialized.

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In the book, the author describes the history by means of various symbols and makes the reader get the main message in the end. Such symbols as the boat and golf fields are a reflection of infinite richness. Fitzgerald tries to warn the world and show how wrong ideals can result in the most catastrophic consequences. In their pursuit of power and profit people become committed to evil and violence and start wars. The author indicates that only real love and spirituality have value in this world, and wealth should not be the main goal as it can lead to personal drama.

The Great Gatsby is the Reflection of the 1920s

The Great Gatsby is the reflection of the 1920s when the American Dream was fake. The author warns the American society that their values are wrong and can lead to disastrous consequences. However, the modern world faces the same issues. Nowadays, people still worry mostly about their wealth and success, nevertheless, in most cases; it does not bring them full happiness. Fitzgerald wanted to warn the American society that it was necessary to change the values and dedicate life to love and close people.


In conclusion, The Great Gatsby by F. S. Fitzgerald became one of the most popular and significant works of the author that still influences the modern literature. In the story, the main character, Jay Gatsby, is a middle-class boy, whose main goal is to become one of those ‘old money’ elite. He dedicates his life to achieve it. The main event of his life that consequently influences all his future actions is the acquaintance with a girl Daisy, with whom he falls in love. The author describes a tragedy of the society of that time, where social injustice and social stratification become the major obstacle to happiness. In their pursuit of wealth, social status, and the American Dream, they forget about the real values, ethics and morality. The main hero gives his life to achieve success and, consequently, understands that he lives in fantasies, whereas all his actions and achievements cannot bring him real happiness. In this book, the author reflects disappointment and predicts dramatic events that will happen after.

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