Is The Great Gatsby Really Great

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On a scale from 1 to 10, how “great” are you? Can someone judge whether a person is great or not great? If there is a standard for this notion, one could list some steps to reach the state of greatness. Possessing a great personality, being wealthy, being honorable, being admired can all add up to the idea of success and being “great.” There is a rife of details in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby where the author tries to convey to the readers how great Gatsby is or, simply, not great.
In the book, the author vividly proves that the American Dream is evil. According to research from Jennifer Banach, “the American Dream has been popularly defined as the belief that, through hard work and thrift, all Americans can improve their social
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Fitzgerald’s novel examines this latter perception as the citizens of this era constituted materialism as their American Dream and the moral corruption that accompanied it (Bewley 27). Fitzgerald uses The Great Gatsby as a means to present the American Dream as a more demoralized, unethical version of its previous self (Bewley 28). The prevailing theory of the 20’s insinuated that if you could obtain a great amount of possessions, you were living the ideal life full of luxury and fortune. In the novel this fixation with materials becomes absurd as people do not even bother to consider the necessity of a certain object, rather enjoy the act of simply purchasing it: “There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb” (Fitzgerald 44). The fact that Gatsby owns an appliance that requires his butler to push a button for some plain orange juice shows how his morals and visions are skewed and amoral. Also this is evident in Daisy’s infatuation with Gatsby’s shirt collection: “They’re such beautiful shirts. It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such- such beautiful shirts before” (118). Fitzgerald allows us a glimpse into Daisy’s materialistic nature as she is completely fascinated and awestruck with clothes. Daisy’s American Dream consists solely of procuring items leading to her own moral decay. The examples that show cons of both Gatsby and the woman he is obsessed with suggest that he’s not the ideal hero the readers are looking
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