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Themes of The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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1 Themes of The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

2 The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s The disintegration of the American Dream in an era of prosperity and material excess Unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals Americans who fought in the War, disillusioned New Wealth scorned by old wealth Rich industrialists, speculators and bootleggers vs. old wealth

3 Decline--continued American Dream—discovery, individualism and pursuit of happiness 1920s, as portrayed in The Great Gatsby, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream—on East Coast Gatsby’s dream of loving Daisy is ruined by social class status He needs to resort to crime to impress her She needs rampant materialism to support her lifestyle

4 The Meaning of the Past The Past holds something that both Gatsby and Nick long for: A simpler, better, nobler time Tom, Daisy and Jordan are creatures of the present—so attractive, but so rootless and spiritually empty

5 The Hollowness of the Upper Class East Egg—old aristocracy West Egg—newly rich, vulgar, ostentatious and lacking social graces and taste Gatsby—ornate mansion, pink suit, Rolls-Royce, but does not pick up on the insincerity of the Sloanes’ invitation to lunch Old aristocracy—grace, taste, elegance epitomized by the Buchanans’ tasteful home, flowing white dresses

6 The Hollowness--continued Old aristocracy—lack heart—careless, inconsiderate bullies; don’t worry about hurting others The Buchanans purchase a new house at the end; fickle and uncaring West Eggers—Gatsby, sincere and loyal heart

7 The Education of a Young Man The Great Gatsby, a story of Nick’s initiation into life Trip East gives him the education he needs to grow up He hits 30, he realizes his youth is over, and he needs to reevaluate his choices Nick, writes The Great Gatsby to show us what he learned

8 The Great Gatsby: Point of View The “I” of the novel becomes ourselves, and we, like Nick, wonder who Gatsby is By writing from limited first person point of view, gives it an air of realism We find out more about Gatsby because Nick does We care about Gatsby because Nick does

9 Motifs in The Great Gatsby Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes Geography—places and settings epitomize aspects of the 1920s American society Weather—the weather in the novel matches the emotional and narrative tone of the story Rain (melancholy), sun (love reawakens), hottest day (confrontation)

10 Symbols The Green Light The Valley of Ashes The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg--?

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