Moral Ambiguity In The Great Gatsby

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The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates a morally ambiguous character that can’t be defined as strictly good or evil. Moral ambiguity is the driving force towards Gatsby’s actions. The character Gatsby demonstrates morally ambiguous qualities that initiate plot throughout the whole novel. Morally ambiguous choices can be viewed towards Gatsby’s character throughout the novel. The first glimpse of Gatsby is introduced in the first chapter while Nick is “exempting him from his reaction” of a “uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever” already placing Gatsby in a position of moral ambiguity (Fitzgerald 2). When Gatsby’s full character is brought into the novel he is said to have “‘killed a man’” and been “‘a German spy during the war’” to show other supporting characters ambiguity toward the rumors surrounding his luxurious parties (Fitzgerald 44). Thus, already…show more content…
It does so by making the setting the roaring 20’s because that time period is full of moral ambiguity. It’s during this era that women find themselves becoming flappers after being suppressed for so long, the prohibition takes place, and women are gaining the right to vote. The idea of women having rights is inherently good, but to some was an example of their rights becoming less powerful and making this idea evil. Giving the era itself moral ambiguity and creating an environment where Gatsby and other characters feel obligated to throw parties where drinking is encouraged, have a man commit adultery, the idea of divorce, and dishonesty.
Overall, moral ambiguity plays a large role in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Where characters, specifically Gatsby, are encompassed in a morally ambiguous environment and experience moral ambiguity in their own actions throughout the novel. Creating a book that relies on its morality being subjective to the characters and the
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