failing like never before


Infinite Green Hope

Hmmm... I found another essay I wrote on The Great Gatsby. I think this is the "second edition" of the previous one that I wrote.

Jay Gatsby, of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, epitomizes one of the central themes of the novel; the prospect of infinite hope and its death. Hope is the cornerstone of the American Dream, and it has become corrupted by foul, immoral deeds. Men who made a fortune in industries, bootlegging, and in the stock market, during the 20s jazz era quickly turned to live the flamboyant, decadent lifestyle they so desired. Fitzgerald describes the downfall of hope and the American Dream by emphasizing the immoral nature of Gatsby and the rich so that future generations might be warned of the dreadful end that arises from corrupted dreams.

It is not merely the dream itself that is tainted, but also the process in which the goal was attained, as can be seen through Gatsby’s rise to wealth. He cared not for the path he took, for his goal was merely to be rich, so that Daisy would marry him. Because of this, Gatsby took to bootlegging and other criminal affairs, “his previously varied aspirations…are sacrificed for…single-minded obsession with Daisy's green light at the end of her dock” (Theme Analysis). The green light represented to Gatsby, the “orgastic future” (Fitzgerald 180), where everything was good. In his search for the past in the future, Gatsby corrupted his dream and his hopes with subtle crimes and bootlegging, and the green light became merely a light as he died.


The Dream of Gatsby

I figure since I'm going through my old stuff, I might as well post some of old essays from high school. So here's another essay, on The Great Gatsby, with "works cited" at the end. (And yes, this is one is also pretty bad, as essays go.)

You can find my second and final draft (read: better draft) here.

One of the major themes of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, is the death of honest, hard work. Certainly, this theme could be described as the death of the American Dream, but Fitzgerald's novel has now extended far beyond the borders of America to encompass the majority of the world, and it would be better to refer to the motif in a more worldly manner. The theme is seen more clearly through the carefree lifestyle of Tom and Daisy Buchanan and the extravagant mannerisms of Jay Gatsby, who are deeply contrasted by the frugal lifestyles of Nick Carraway and George Wilson. Through his characterization of the Buchanans, Nick, Gatsby, and Wilson, Fitzgerald attempts to display the manner in which humanity has come to value the possession of money rather then the process of obtaining it, so that future generations might gain a reprise from the despondent lifestyle similar to the one Fitzgerald lived.

Sparknotes mentions in "Themes, Motifs & Symbols," that "the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals" during the decadent 1920s. Jay Gatsby sought only the pleasure that he could obtain through money, so he ignored the nobility of honest work, and instead turned to a far more profitable line of employment: bootlegging. Gatsby describes Daisy Buchanan's voice as being "full of money" (Fitzgerald 120), which allows us to see more fully into the nature of Gatsby, for Gatsby does not love Daisy for her wit and charm, but rather for the wealth that she epitomizes. His goal is to simply be on top with a mound of money and the “golden girl” alongside him. Whether he attains this goal through wooing her, or by buying her attention with his ill gained money, makes no difference to Gatsby. Novel Analysis says in "Character Profiles," that Gatsby has created his own "personal version of the American Dream." Gatsby's dream is a world where his money can bring the world to bow at his feet, and make the "golden girl" become his bride. In his perverted dream, there are no noble pathways to a happy ending; there is only a lonely beginning, and a glorious end.