Essay on The Great Gatsby Theme

954 Words Oct 19th, 2010 4 Pages
The Great Gatsby explores a number of themes, none is more prevalent than that of the corruption of the American dream. The American dream is the concept that, in America, any person can be successful as long he or she is prepared to work hard and use their natural gifts.
Gatsby appears to be the embodiment of this dream—he has risen from being a poor farm boy with no prospects to being rich, having a big house, servants, and a large social circle attending his numerous functions. He has achieved all this in only a few short years, having returned from the war penniless.
On the surface, Fitgerald appears to be suggesting that wealth are attainable, status and position are not. Gatsby has money and possessions, but he is unable to find
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Any person who attempts to move up through the social classes becomes corrupt in the process. In Gatsby’s case this corruption involves illegal activities, for Myrtle it is an abandonment of others of her own background.
A parallel theme of the book is that of love and its fleetingness. There are no stable relationships in the book. Daisy and Tom’s marriage has been damaged by affairs from early in its life. Soon after their honeymoon Tom has been caught out, when a hotel chambermaid is injured in a car crash where he is the driver. By the time the novel begins, Daisy is well aware of Tom’s regular affairs, seeming to suffer in silence until Gatsby offers her a way out. Myrtle’s relationship with Tom is no stronger, obviously based on a physical attraction, especially on the part of Tom, who has little time for Myrtle outside the bedroom. Myrtle appears to be loved by Wilson, but is unhappy in this relationship, apparently because he is unable to provide materially for her, although his actions in the latter part of the book suggest his love may be oppressive, causing her to seek escape even before the last events.
Other characters in the book are no more successful in relationships. Nick, the narrator, is unable to make commitments in his relationships. One of his reasons for coming East has been to escape a potential engagement. He has a brief

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