Moral Decay In The Great Gatsby

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The literary masterpiece The Great Gatsby, written by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a classic story depicting the extravagant life of Jay Gatsby and his lifelong quest to rekindle his love with past lover Daisy Buchanan. Written in 1925, the novel serves as a bridge between the conclusion of World War I and the Great Depression of the early 1930’s. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald both examines and critiques the vision of the 1920’s American Dream. Despite the fact that Fitzgerald himself was an avid participant in the stereotypical “Roaring Twenties” lifestyle - consisting of material excess, self-destructive behavior, wild partying, and bootleg liquor as a result of the Prohibition - he is still able to convey his disapproval of the moral decay that occurred in…show more content…
Although thrilling, it led to a sense of moral decay that is frequently encountered throughout the novel. Infidelity was displayed often, and at the beginning of the book the audience learns about Tom Buchanan’s open affair with Myrtle Wilson as Jordan Baker bluntly exclaims, “Tom’s got some woman in New York” (Fitzgerald 15). Furthermore, Myrtle, Gatsby, and Daisy all participate in the act of infidelity in some sense. Additionally, dishonesty pervades the novel and contributes to the depleting morals of the time. For instance, dishonesty is identified as Jordan Baker’s key fault as Nick explains that “She was incurably dishonest” (Fitzgerald 58). Even Gatsby is dishonest at times as he lies about his origins to Nick and claims “I am the son of some wealthy people in the MIddle West- all dead now”, which is proven to be false as the audience meets his father at the conclusion of the novel (Fitzgerald 65). Essentially, the moral decay of this age contributed greatly to the diluted image of the original American dream, and helped shape the new image of the concept during the
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