The American dream is the central theme of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Equal rights and the chance to succeed in socialism and materialism are part of the American dream. The American dream, however, is always susceptible to failure and self-centered desire. Comparing that to Harlem by Langston Hughes, the central theme is a dream that becomes deferred. Both texts use figurative language such as imagery, irony, and symbolism to do so. Imagery is the use of words to depict an idea or situation. The Great Gatsby does so through the social classes represented. There are three main social classes represented in The Great Gatsby. Old money, new money, and no money are these. The islands of East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes …show more content…
West Egg, according to Nick, a member of the new money class, is "the less fashionable of the two, though is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them” (Fitzgerald, chapter 1) By providing examples of how some individuals lived, The Great Gatsby uses imagery to further emphasize the idea of how class matters. Furthermore, imagery is used in Gatsby’s parties. The extravagant nature of Gatsby's parties. “Movement”, “bustle”, and “gaudiness” are the types of imagery that are employed to depict Gatsby's parties. Gatsby hosts these gatherings to grab attention. When looking at the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, imagery is used to give the poetry movement, to arouse the readers' imagination, and to develop their inner feelings, as well as to give them a sense of the flavor and scent of the made-up world. Hughes uses words like "stink," "rotten," "explode," "fester," "dry," "crust," "heavy," and "sag” (Hughes.) He uses these words to drive the reader's senses to feel, smell, see, hear, and taste this important dream. Also, Hughes vividly compares the feelings of people to visuals of a sore. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a …show more content…
Gatsby is a man who is a walking irony. Gatsby spent his entire life trying to become wealthy, but even when he succeeded, he was still unhappy. “Rich people only ever get richer, they don't get happier. But poor people get by because they are happy, knowing they have a family to come home to” (Fitzgerald, chapter 6.) The lesson Gatsby learns is that wealth cannot buy happiness, loyalty, friendship, or love. Along with money not buying friendship, no one shows up for Gatsby's funeral, yet everyone attends his party. “Nobody came”(Fitzgerald, 172.) Since there was nothing to gain from attending his funeral, nobody showed up. Humans, according to Fitzgerald, are inherently egocentric. People are happy to show up at Gatsby's parties, but when he dies, nobody bothers to go to his funeral. Hughes uses irony when comparing a raisin in the sun to a dream in his poem "Harlem," which is comparable to this use of irony. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” “Or does it explode? (Hughes)” For Hughes, a dream is like a grape. Is your dream vibrant and alive like that grape, or does it wither and dry out in the sun? Instead of thinking of a raisin in the sun, the poet is imagining a man who waits and waits, dreams and hopes, until he finally bursts from the weight on his shoulders. Hughes also uses irony when he talks about stinking like rotten meat or crusting and sugaring over like syrup. “Does it
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The 1920’s was a time of economic boom and prosperity. The riches and glamour of the time period were idolized by those living then, but many people were not aware of the shadowy side of The Jazz Age. The characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel represent the people of the 1920’s who were surrounded by material items and a surface of artificial happiness. In The Great Gatsby the East and West Eggs, Myrtle’s apartment, and the use of opposing colors, like black and white used throughout the book are all symbols that represent the duality of the time period.
Imagery plays an important role in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald used imagery when Gatsby was talking to Nick at his house after one of his tarnished parties. The author describes the broken path Nick talks about which helps connect the theme of loss and heartbreak. Nick had stated, “He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers,” (Fitzgerald 109). The crushed flowers symbolize Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy.
Throughout The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the parties and social gatherings motif to prove that the American Dream and wealth create careless people. At the beginning of the novel, The Great Gatsby, the use of parties and social gatherings helps display the power of wealth. Nick had just recently moved into Gatsby’s neighborhood, and he was attending one
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses a variety of imagery to create contrasting moods. Three settings in the novel showcase this: the Buchanan’s estate, Gatsby’s mansion, and the Valley of Ashes. At the Buchanans’ luxurious estate, Fitzgerald brings the home and its inhabitants to life by creating a depthless sense of affluence. The manor is initially portrayed as a beautiful place, with Nick describing it as a “cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion” (Fitzgerald 9).
"Exploring the Differences Between West Egg and East Egg in The Great Gatsby" The setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's ‘The Great Gatsby’ is 1920’s New York, more specifically the Long Island community of East Egg and West Egg. At the start of the novel, East Egg and West Egg residents are similar on the surface. This is due to the fact that both are communities of wealthy individuals. As the story progresses, clear differences can be seen between East Egg’s “old money” inhabitants and West Egg’s “new money” population.
Gatsby’s extravagant parties and lifestyle reflected the recklessness of the wealthy society he belonged to. In the novel, Gatsby throws lavish parties with no expense spared, and his guests engage in excessive drinking and reckless behavior. “People were not invited - they went there”. (Fitzgerald 52) Gatsby’s parties and lifestyle are indicative of the reckless behavior that characterizes the wealthy society he is part of.
Symbolism is used by authors to imply a deeper meaning to the reader without directly stating it. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism to portray the wealthiness and harshness of the 1920s. Gatsby’s mansion acts as a symbol that gives emphasis on the time period and the superiority of the rich. Living in such a time period allowed for those with money, such as Jay Gatsby and the Buchanan’s, to prosper and live luxurious lives. Through the eyes of the characters, Gatsby’s mansion was seen as a place of wonder and enjoyment that held satisfying parties every weekend.
Imagery is a literary device that uses figurative language to describe objects, actions, and ideas. In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, imagery acts as a luminary as it is often utilized to portray symbolism throughout the entire book. The author introduces the readers to a frenetic party in chapter three in which an environment with poise is disrupted by a large crowd of people. At Gatsby’s party, numerous denizens from East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes showed up to mingle and have fun. Though, this party was not all that as the aloof individuals believed they were superior when in reality they were just bellicose.
The lavish gatherings that overflow with opulence, represent a larger symbol of emptiness and superficiality that comes with success and wealth. These parties fill Gatsby’s loneliness Gatsby states how he fulfills his emptiness by stating, “I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye” (Fitzgerald, 45). Gatsby describes his liking for New York because it is filled with so many different things that entertain him with all the money and yet boredom he has. His parties along with the connecting idea of him moving to New York tie into the same simple fact that the parties and entertainment are merely a facade to maintain the illusion of prosperity. As his wealth grows, the feeling of emptiness will grow in people, Gatsby is simply a representation of this feeling.
Gatsby’s house is located in West Egg, the “new money” area of Long Island, and is first described by Nick as “a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy”(Fitzgerald 7) referencing a monstrous political venue in France. But despite the colossal-ness of the house, it is seemingly empty with the exception of Gatsby and his servants. Gatsby’s justification for such an empty house is revealed when Nick attends and describes the monstrous parties that Gatsby hosts. The madness of the parties that house orchestras, multiple servants, and upscale hors-d’oeuvre is a perfect representation of the elaborateness of the roaring twenties. It illustrates a prosperous decade filled with music, dancing, and most importantly wealth.
The American dream is a phantom of an idea created by the aspiring dream of Amercans. In The Great Gatsby, this idea is portrayed by Fitzgerald uncovering the flaws of what his characters most desire. Throughout the novel, it is shown through the success and faults of each character and how they see the American dream. Although the American dream, seen from an outsider's point-of-view, is a way of life that consists of making one’s way to a more wealthy and successful lifestyle – it can be deceiving.
Nick Carraway touches upon the fact that “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there… Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission” (Fitzgerald 41). All the people who attended Jay Gatsby’s parties didn’t actually know Jay Gatsby, but instead showed up for an experience of a lifetime. Author Mclean goes about the inside life of the party and how “Even the dancing at West Egg is innocent and childlike, as 'girls were putting their heads on men's shoulders in a puppyish, convivial way' and 'swooning backward playfully into men's arms'”
The American dream is a phantom of an idea created by the aspired dream of Amercans. In The Great Gatsby, this idea is portrayed by Fitzgerald uncovering the flaws of what his characters most desire. Throughout the novel, it is shown through the success and faults of each character and how they see The American dream. Although the American dream, seen from an outsider's point-of-view, is a way of life that consists of making one’s way to a more wealthy and successful lifestyle – it can be deceiving.
Scott Fitzgerald teaches this lesson in The Great Gatsby through the life of Jay Gatsby and his obsession with wealth. Throughout the first half of the book, we learn that Gatsby has been throwing extravagant parties where the guests simply know him as “...just a man named Gatsby” (Page 48). This is important because it shows how wealth doesn’t affect Gatsby’s social status as nobody knows who Gatsby really is. Gatsby desires money in order to court Daisy but gaining that wealth leads him into shady business which negatively affects him overall and makes him want to make even more money. Gatsby’s loneliness is further shown in Gatsby’s funeral where “...