The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald is concerned with moral decisions and their effect upon character. Yet how are moral decisions made in civilization which possess no meaningful values by which to judge those decisions?

Chapter 9

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America, according to Fitzgerald, was founded on the ideals of progress and equality. The America envisioned by its founders was a land made for men like Gatsby: it was intended as a place where visionary dreamers could thrive. Instead, people like Tom and Daisy Buchanan have recreated the excesses of the European aristocracy in the New World. Gatsby, for all his wealth and greatness, could not become a part of their world; his noble attempt to engineer his own destiny was sabotaged by their cruelty and by the stunted quality of their imaginations. Fitzgerald's America is emphatically not a place where anything is possible: just as America has failed to transcend its European origins, Gatsby, too, cannot overcome the circumstances of his upbringing.