THE GREAT GATSBY, AWAKENING FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM
THE IDEA OF EAST AND WEST AND CLASS DISTINCTIONThe first point that Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby” opens with is the definition of the two islands which Nick Carraway utters. West egg, where Nick lives is the place of newly rich people, people who have worked hard and earned their money in a short time. But the thing is they are rich just from the materialistic point of view. They don’t have the traditions and culture of the east eggers but they are not worried about it because they believe spiritual satisfaction would automatically accompany material success. This belief is the cause for Gatsby’s reaction toward Daisy when she comes to his house for the first time. Gatsby tries to impress Daisy by showing off his shirts but he does not understand the traditions of the east egg society and therefore he doesn’t realize that he cannot impress her by his shirts.On the other side stand east eggers such as Daisy and Tom Buchanan. They have inherited their money and did not work for it so they don’t appreciate it in the way the west eggers do. Also they are from high class families and there is no need for them to try to make themselves accepted in aristocrat societies. The best example is Tom Buchanan. He is a wealthy man with a beautiful wife and from outside it looks like that he has a perfect life. The point is, although he has not, he doesn’t want and wouldn’t dare to do anything that shatters this idea of perfect life in the minds of others. The love affair which Tom has with Myrtle clearly shows this philosophy he has in his life. Myrtle is a money chaser, and because her husband hasn’t so much money like Tom she doesn’t want him although George loves him…
THE IDEA OF MONEYAnother sign of the fall of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby is the way Gatsby makes his money. Gatsby gets his fortune through the illegal sale of alcohol. The sale of alcohol was prohibited in the united stated in 1920s.Gatsby came from the western unites states where there was “old money”. He met a person named Dan Cody there, who taught him how to bootleg. So he became incredibly rich in a short space of time because he absolves himself of moral responsibility. But this wealth cause distrust. His huge parties are being attended only by insincere people and the relationships are not base on trust or affection but self interest. Nick notices this near to the end of the novel when he sees that only three people come to Gatsby’s funeral. Gatsby is left alone, nobody shares his sentimentality and nobody even comes to his funeral.