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A critical review of the great gatsby by f scott fitzgerald

Paul, Minnesota, to the daughter of a self-made Irish immigrant and an unsuccessful furniture salesman, F. Scott Fitzgerald was indoctrinated early with a belief in the American Dream. Later he was to pursue it with a ferocity that would take a devastating toll upon his life. Critics often assert that The Great Gatsby is a uniquely American novel that depicts American characters and themes. Indeed, Gatsby is the archetypal American character: He is self-made, a man who literally invents or reinvents himself.

Like a young Benjamin Franklin, he maps out his resolves for future success and never wavers from his teenage conception of self.

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald - review

A seventeen-year-old James Gatz invents Jay Gatsby, and it is to this vision that he remains true. Ultimately, it is this vision that betrays him.

The Great Gatsby Critical Evaluation - Essay

Gatsby represents the world of the ostentatious newly rich; however, he remains a romantic idealist. He is a paradox: Nick Carraway, the narrator, is an idealistic midwestern salesman of stocks and bonds, trying to make a go of it on Wall Street. The entire story is filtered through Nick and his vision of Gatsby. It is significant that Fitzgerald chooses to write The Great Gatsby in the past tense; indeed, the story is relayed entirely through memory, which is, of course, selective.

The lines between truth and fiction are blurred, and, essentially, the reader must become a participant within the text; he or she must separate the lies from the truth in order to glean the true meaning. Illusion versus reality is a central theme throughout the novel. It is the past that Gatsby struggles to reinvent and reclaim. He fails to realize that the past is gone.

In the end, it is this romantic idealism that destroys Gatsby; he refuses to relinquish the illusion that has propelled his life. On one level, The Great Gatsby is about money: On another level, it employs American mythology based upon East and West.

Why ‘The Great Gatsby’ is the Great American Novel

The East epitomizes the sophisticated realm of established wealth and privilege, while the West is the new frontier, the place of the pioneer without a past or identity. Careless drivers become a metaphor for the demoralized world of wealth and privilege inhabited by people such as the Buchanans. Though The Great Gatsby is obviously a product of a post-World War I era, the novel still retains thematic significance.