LITERATURAS EM LÍNGUA INGLESA II
Professor Elaine Indrusiak
A free short essay about The great Gatsby:
a world of ideas.
Fábio R. Gutterres Fernandes
Porto Alegre, RS.
It is easy to talk about a piece of art. You can find many reasons everywhere to explain your point of view and the point of view ofthe author. But, on the other side, it becomes difficult to talk about something that was already exhaustively discussed by the literary critics all over the world. So, you have to challenge your mind and discover new things about the masterpiece.
The great Gatsby is exactly this kind of work and the aim of this paper is an attempt to show new opinions about themes and subjects contained in thebook written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925.
For a better understanding of this work I would recommend a careful reading of the book first, for those who still have not read. Even though the book was written almost ninety years ago, its issues are very present in our lives today. The story is set in the United States but I would dare to say that it is a picture of the modern society from everywestern country in the world. The manners, values, gestures, principles and imperfections are the same everywhere. For sure, that is what makes The great Gatsby so fascinating for those who read it.
In my short analysis I will try to point some the of main points, like the attitudes of some of the characters, the settings, the consumerist values of the time, a little about the historical andpolitical context and a short description about some characters, contrasting their virtues and flaws.
A free short essay about The great Gatsby: a world of ideas.
As one of the most important novels of its time, The great Gatsby is considered a great literary document of the jazz age, a period right after the World War I. Many conclusions can be taken from the reading because there is arichness of details and symbols used by the author. All the world was passing through a lot of cultural, social and economic changes brought by the transformations made by the war and its consequences. The United States was also in a period of great prosperity in the industry and most of the Americans were in search of the American dream. That dream and that search were the causes for great changesin the American society. Many of these changes were described in the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald who made comparisons of the old values and the new times.
To understand some of the things that happen during the story, it is good to make a relationship between the text and the context. There are some passages in the book that really shock us because of the contrast at that time. While some of thecharacters in Long Island, like Jay Gatsby, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, were throwing extravagant parties every weekend, drinking champagne, driving expensive cars and wearing fancy clothes, on the other side there were the Valley of Ashes inhabitants, like George and Myrtle Wilson, who lived in an ugly landscape, working for their livings and with an unpleasant look. In this part, besides thecontrast made by the author between the two opposites from American society, there is also a part of his personal life depicted here. Fitzgerald had to overcome some difficulties in his life and show people he could be successful as a writer. He was himself very influenced by the American dream.
Houses are also shown as an embodiment of the American dream. This is clearly when there is a descriptionof the two neighbour’s houses, side by side, from Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel, and Jay Gatsby. Nick's house is a simple house next to Gatsby's mansion, full of large and extravagant rooms, a library, a piano and a pool. As Marilyn Chandler (1991) said,
“Houses in literature are not decorative elements in the background, but active participants in their functioning as the epitomes...