Analysis Of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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What goes up, must always come down. Jay Gatsby learns this lesson the hard way. The The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, represents the 1920s stock market through the green light’s symbolism, the condition of Gatsby’s house, and the life of Jay Gatsby/James Gatz. The book traces the steady climb to an ultimate peak, then dramatic plummet of the stock market during that time period.
Born into a poverty stricken family, Jay Gatsby works hard to swiftly increase his standard of living. Before transforming into Jay Gatsby, James Gatz lives a life of scarcity and dreams of becoming affluent, “His parents were...unsuccessful farm people...[he] had never really accepted them as his parents,” (Fitzgerald 96). Just as the stock market began low
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Gatsby keeps his home in unsullied shape and Nick describes the routine which Gatsby’s servants follow after each of his parties, “Monday... servants...toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before,” (Fitzgerald 39). At its best, Gatsby’s house swells with people coming to his parties to taste the lavish lifestyle, and all the while its remains shimmering with magnificence. As the stock market approaches its highest point, a greater number of people have the opportunity to life a life of wealth. The stock market later crashes, and so does Gatsby’s house. As Nick prepares to leave New York following Gatsby’s death, he looks over at the once lively house and observes its tranformation, “the grass on his lawn had grown as long as mine...I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house,” (Fitzgerald 179). Without Jay living in his house, having people over, and throwing parties, the house became vapid. The stock market tumbled down, just like Gatsby’s house. When the market crashed, many wealthy, self made people lost almost - if not all - of their money. As a result, their massive, once lavish homes fell apart the same way Gatsby’s does. Gatsby’s house, once an opulent hub of activity and life, quickly becomes a run down old mansion. Once a representation of a life of wealth, the …show more content…
Sitting outside one evening, Nick observes Gatsby for the first time. Nick attempts to interpret Gatsby’s peculiar actions, “he stretched out his arms toward the dark water...I glanced seaward - and distinguished nothing except a single green light,” (Fitzgerald 21). In this moment, Nick has not been acquainted with Gatsby, nor is he aware of Gatsby and Daisy’s past relationship. The green light at the end of daisy’s dock singlehandedly connects Gatsby to Daisy. The longer that he lives there - across the bay from Daisy - the more importance Gatsby places upon that single green light. In the same way that the stock market rises over time, the significance of the green light increases over time. After Gatsby and Daisy reunite, there is a moment where - as Nick speculates - Gatsby feels the importance of the green light dissipate, “Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever,” (Fitzgerald 93). All the importance that Gatsby had built up about that light comes crashing down, leaving him feeling as though he had lost something precious. In a like manner, the prices of stocks built up higher than they had ever before, then suddenly, came tumbling down. People did not know what to do because they lost all of their money rapidly. Likewise, the enchantment of one object Gatsby

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