Theme Of Idealism In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s take on the “roaring 20’s” in The Great Gatsby is amazingly accurate; events in the book parallel the lives of Americans in the 20’s, and on a larger scale, American society itself. With this connection between fiction and reality, Fitzgerald conveys a variety of themes within the story. The primary vehicle of Fitzgerald’s message is none other than Jay Gatsby- the principle character of the novel; Gatsby himself stands as a symbolization of the “rising” class in society, or those who have the ambition to attempt to ascend in the socio-economic hierarchy, despite humble beginnings. One such themes, that is heavily imparted is the theme of idealism, and this is done mainly through Gatsby. Gatsby’s idealism represents an …show more content…
A potent example of idealism in The Great Gatsby is when Gatsby “tells” Nick [the narrator] a little about his past, or rather lies about it. In chapter 4, Nick begins to increasingly associate himself with Gatsby; at one point Nick leaves with Gatsby to go out for lunch. During the car trip, Gatsby asserts “After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe—Paris, Venice, Rome—collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting… that had happened to me long ago” (Fitzgerald 71). Gatsby also claims he is the son of very wealthy parents, Oxford-educated, and from the Midwest; many of Gatsby’s statements are deceitful- either being lies are partially artificial. This is a clear example of Gatsby’s idealism, as Gatsby is attempting to portray the past differently; Gatsby is trying to make his life the model of aristocracy, even if he has to deny reality. This behaviour is also heavily evident in society- a reason Gatsby symbolizes society. It is just human for man to desire a perfect life, thus people often “recreate” themselves, just like Gatsby. New jobs, changes in location, and the pursuit of higher and better things are all just idealist actions society bears witness to on a daily …show more content…
It is Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy, and on a broader scale, the American Dream. Towards the end of Chapter 6, Gatsby and Nick have a conversation regarding Daisy and the “past.” Nick, in referring to Gatsby states “He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you.’ After... they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house—just as if it were five years ago” (Fitzgerald 118). In addition to this, Gatsby also affirms he can “recreate the past” and fix everything. Gatsby desires a life with Daisy, and amasses an incredible amount of wealth because of his objective. Gatsby purchases a house right across from Daisy, and holds lavish parties just in an attempt to fulfill his dream. It is later discovered that Daisy is just an extension of Gatsby’s dream to become great; Nick in regards to Gatsby’s statement about Daisy, states “It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it…. High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl” (Fitzgerald 128). It turns out Gatsby was attracted to Daisy, largely because of her wealth and status, and by being with her, he elevated himself; Gatsby wanted the American Dream, and being with Daisy would symbolize his “divine ascension.” Throughout history, people from all walks of life have

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