An Exploration of Identity and The American Dream within Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
The American dream is common to all people, yet it is something that everybody sees in diverse ways. The American dream is diverse for everybody, except they share a proportion of its aspects (Luhrmann et al. 21). The dream is mostly dependent on the setting of where one lives as well as one's social class. Every American dream is to a degree distinctive, yet they all identify with the times that one lives in. Identity is developed through a few different mediums in Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby. The word identity refers to a set of individual and behavioral qualities which characterize a person as a member of a particular group (Allitt 14). In view of race, ethnicity, religion, dialect and society, individuals separate themselves from different groups and structure their comprehension as well as pride in who they are. The American Dream along with Identity are two themes which Fitzgerald has focused on in the novel The Great Gatsby.
For the books' focal character, the status of Gatsby is autocratic, as well as an ambition (Rubio 2). In his personalities, embracing an ambitious identity would afford him the confidence, integrity, and reason they see as inadequate. Jay Gatsby starts his life recognizing as oppressed destitute–then endeavor independently to exemplify an identity which he does not fit. Jay Gatsby, being an American Dream ambassador, has ambitions upon which he plans to capitalize on, and he does in superficial aspects. Gatsby tries to escape his endorsed identity in life, and to some extent he does, but he neglects to imitate the social gathering into which he wishes to adapt into.
Identity is characterized essentially by monetary circumstances. The impact of the economy is unmistakable in this novel, influencing his advocate in a divergent way. In The Great Gatsby, the storyteller, Nick, admits that what captivates him about New York is its mechanical essentialness; “the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye” (Fitzgerald 6). Gatsby cunningly controls the rich natives of New York, for example, Meyer Wolfsheim, to make himself into a mogul. In his own particular manner, Gatsby embodies the American Dream, by misusing the elite class citizens by means of underhand ways. "He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That's one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn't far wrong." (85). Gatsby's illegalities empower him to brush shoulders with the well off. This as a result gives him status – Identity.
Regardless of anticipating the picture of the American Dream, Jay Gatsby never really joins it, and continue living holding on the convictions he had during his youthful years. "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry"(Fitzgerald 55). Despite the fact that he fiscally exhibits his prosperity, his status does not bring joy. In exertion, he even receives certain dialect, actually misusing the expression, 'old sport' – A fantastic Old Money sort phrase, and probably an artificiality of Gatsby to charm himself into the class with which he wishes to recognize. Eventually, the identity he has developed for himself – of an individual with extravagant autos, covered in sentiment turns into his defeat (Yang & Lark 11). Prominently, just Gatsby and Myrtle, the encapsulation of raunchiness, pass on. Thusly, it appears Fitzgerald is gathering the two together, reminding the peruser that Myrtle is a leftover of the kind of individual Gatsby once was, and in death the two are thrown out of the lives of the well-to-do class they so strived to be a piece of. It could be understood that this is Gatsby's discipline for not genuinely changing his identity.
Gatsby is a result he could call his own dreams as well as arrogances, bearing no genuine ethnicity since shedding his unique name – 'Gatz'. “His imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby…sprang from the Platonic conception of himself” (Fitzgerald 118). His original name, 'Gatz', is very Germanic, especially in examination to individuals like Tom Buchanan as well as Daisy who like to consider themselves French/British in average. The customized "Gatsby" is correspondingly resounding of this. Since Gatsby does not have the celebrated family associations, he rather relates himself with Meyer Wolfsheim, a generalization Jew. Someone else who at the time would be treated with suspicion by respectable families. This is ruminant of the world he deserted. The way that Gatsby denies himself of any history abandons him at something of an impasse. In his mission to make an Identity he relinquishes feeling of self and virtue.
In this geology, when considering people's characters, the perspective of identities is central. Point of view figures out what the reader is presented to, controlling our elucidation of a character's identity. The secretive uncertainty of Gatsby's identity is improved via Nick Carraway's part as a one-sided storyteller. Scratch's own qualities and demeanor deny him from expecting fair-mindedness. His character is very human, in spite of the fact that he does endeavor to hold himself, to what he considers the most astounding of guidelines (Smith 23). 'Scratch brings up when he sees feeling misleadingly communicated, creating the reader to respect the enthusiastic activity in the novel with the eye of a cynic’. Identity is managed to us, and we never really take up with Gatsby and his mind.
Pop culture is intensely featured in this novel, conveying the philosophies held by society, setting parameters by which the heroes distinguish themselves. Pop Culture is additionally wielded by Fitzgerald to light up Gatsby's highflying way of life. Visitors at his famous gatherings incorporate VIPs in the media spotlight. This underscores the triviality of Gatsby's way of life. One historic point in the field of media and promoting is the image of all-seeing, bespectacled eyes of Dr TJ Eckleberg that look over the Valley of the Ashes that lies between West Egg and New York City. Regardless, media is still an object of craving. All through the Great Gatsby, characters tend to enhance themselves with specific tabloids, again expanding the quality of standard media. Verisimilitude is practiced plentifully in The Great Gatsby. Imaginary items are created to give a feeling of reality to the similarity of the account. After going to the city, Myrtle immediately buys the 'Town Tattle' – when she enters her life of opulence, she relates it with Pop Culture.
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