Mobility In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s colorful language and elaborate descriptions of even the most mundane of things allows us a brief look into the world of the 1920’s in his novel, The Great Gatsby. In the novel, Fitzgerald shows us what “The Roaring Twenties” really means; Extravagant parties and adultery are merely par for the course in the bustling city of New York. But below the extravagant displays of wealth and success is Fitzgerald’s harsh look at the realities of life - the parties are merely a brief escape from the realities of the world. Through complex imagery and compelling narrative, Fitzgerald paints a different picture of the 1920’s and the dangers of naivety. Fitzgerald uses symbolism to suggest that true socioeconomic mobility is not achievable…show more content…
From the moment he started, the odds were against him. Fitzgerald uses the idea of East and West in the book to signify the struggles of the poor versus the rich. The Wilsons, and Gatsby, who come from the little money and belong to the West are disadvantaged from the very start. The Buchanans have never known struggle, and live their wealthy lives in the East. “After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction. So when the blue smoke of brittle leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the line I decided to come back home.” (Fitzgerald, 165). Gatsby’s death finally shows Nick that he will not find success in the East. The West will always be where he truly belongs. Gatsby managed to attain wealth, and yet he could never be on the same level as the Buchanans because he was new money. Nick realizes he will not be successful chasing this impossible American Dream. “But the rest offended her - and inarguably, because it wasn’t a gesture but an emotion. She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented ‘place’ that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village - appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.” (Fitzgerald, 102). When Daisy attends Gatsby’s party in West Egg she is disturbed by their mannerisms, disgusted by their “raw vigor”. Daisy cannot sympathize with the people of the west. She is taken in by Gatsby and his wealth, but in the end she settles back for Tom. She can never relate to the struggles of the
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