The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Motifs are devices or structures that are used by artists or authors to help in the development of a theme.
Places and settings give a perfect example of various aspects of the 1920’s throughout The Great Gatsby novel. East Egg represents the highest social class in the society who got their wealth through inheritance while the West Egg location represents the newly rich and promising people of the community. The valley of ashes is the moral and social decay area of America, and the City of New York is an immoral place where people search for money and pleasures. The Eastside is linked to the immorality and social skepticism of the New York City. The west which includes Minnesota and the Midwestern and northern areas are more attached to societal values and perfect ways of doing things. Nick’s analysis of chapter nine of the story reveals his sensitiveness to this division. Although the story is set in the in the East, it talks more about people of the West. For instance, it narrates how people whose originates from the West, especially the main characters respond to the style of life on the East Coast.
The Great Gatsby story weather always matches its emotional and narrative tone. During Gatsby and Daisy’s reunion, rain pours which demonstrates an awkward and sad situation. Their love rekindles just as the sun starts to come out. Gatsby confrontation with Tom over Daisy happened on the hottest day of summer, under the hot sun. Wilson murders Gatsby on the first day of autumn; his body floats on the pool in spite of the perceptible chill in the air which is a representation of his efforts to stop time and rekindle his love with Daisy to be how it was some five years ago.
Cheating symbolizes superficial quality of the life of the stories characters thus representing hollowness in the American dream. The rich have access to everything, but they are still not happy and comfortable. However, cheating is not only witnessed in the rich people as it has spread across all social classes. All the relationship in the story have a purpose, for example, Tom gets into a relationship to satisfy his boredom and escape from home while Daisy cheats on Tom with Gatsby to get attention and admiration Tom doesn’t offer her. Daisy also gets into a relationship with Tom and gets married to him so that she can attain social status and also because of money. Daisy also cheats on Tom with Gatsby to get attention and admiration Tom doesn’t offer her. Gatsby wants Daisy back so that he can fulfill the American dream.
The American dream entails people trying to accumulate riches and social status. The desire for these dreams made cars to be very essential. Cars were considered as the status of wealth freedom. In The Great Gatsby story, Gatsby owns countless vehicles with one of them being a Roll-Royce. The Roll-Royce was a rich, bright, cream color for it to attract Daisy and to portray its wealthy status. However, conflict arises due to with attachment to cars. An example of the conflict is when Myrtle is hit by a car and dies. The incident is ironical as Myrtle thinks Tom is the one driving the car as she is also convinced that Tom will help her leave the valley of ashes and achieve the American dream. Unfortunately, it is the desire for American Dream that causes her death.
Gatsby throws expensive parties to win over people who don’t even know him and to attract Daisy’s attention and make her fall for him again. Gatsby's party has plenty of food and juice, in addition to a lot of entertainment. Most of the guest at the party is only there to enjoy the allure which is believed to be the American Dream. It is ironic that the party are held to impress Daisy who is not impressed when she attends one of the parties. She feels she is out of place as she is not used to such kind of lifestyle. This shows it not possible for Daisy to leave Tom for Gatsby as she was only familiar with the lifestyle she shares with Tom. The novel also shows the differences between parties held in old money areas and those held in new money areas. Parties held by old money people are simple. People with new money tend to flaunt their money unnecessarily while the wealthy are comfortable and calm with their wealth. Myrtle arranges for an impromptu party for her to show off Tom whom she believes is her ticket to achieving the American Dream which she is willing to do anything to make it.
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