The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby: a Criticism of the American Dream 10th Grade

Through its unflattering characterization of those at the top of the economic heap and its appalling examination of the ways in which the American Dream not only fails to fulfill its promise but also contributes to the decay of moral values in a modern society, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby provides a critical social history of America in the twenties within its narrative. Fitzgerald creates a setting in which wealth is at the heart of everyone's desires. The artificial world of The Great Gatsby displays a notable discrepancy between the East and the West. The materialism of the East creates the tragedy of destruction, dishonesty, and fear. No moral values exist in such an environment. Fitzgerald portrays in this novel the putrefaction of innocence and of true love under the influences of capitalism and materialism through the relationships between characters. The relationships between Tom and Daisy, Tom and Myrtle, and Nick and his mind all attest to this theory of decomposition.

Tom and Daisy's unstable relationship offers an example as to how wealth overrules love in the relationships within this narrative. Daisy, the quintessential air-headed, southern belle, and Tom, the stereotypical brute jock, in theory, make...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 874 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6720 literature essays, 1811 sample college application essays, 276 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in