Corruption In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Words: 1007
Pages: 5

The 1920s has a reputation in American history for being one of the country’s most prosperous times. After World War I, new technologies and cultural changes, as well as a soaring stock market and an overall sense of nationalism, contributed to the supposed advancement and achievement of the American Dream. A significant portion of the credit for this fallacious depiction of the “Roaring Twenties” goes to F. Scott Fitzgerald and his classic tale about lust, ostentatiousness, and ambition: The Great Gatsby. By exploring the novel beyond its romanticization, one realizes Fitzgerald conveys the message that the American Dream actually fell victim to corruption during the 1920s using symbolism, dialogue, and actions of the characters in his novel.
Fitzgerald’s employment of symbolism provides significant
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A drunk guest at one of Gatsby’s parties crashes Gatsby’s cream-colored Rolls Royce in a car accident. Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s friend and neighbor, describes the incident, “Fifty feet from the door a dozen headlights illuminated a bizarre and tumultuous scene. In the ditch beside the road… violently shorn of one wheel, rested a new coupé which had left Gatsby’s drive not two minutes before” (Fitzgerald 53). Because his car is colored in gold, a hue associated with wealth and luxury, and it could not be afforded by many during the 1920s, it symbolizes opulence, or the goal of the American Dream. The destruction of the wealthy car due to the guest’s misguided actions mirrors the end of the American Dream because of corruption. Besides Gatsby’s car, the valley of ashes provides great insight into Fitzgerald’s unfavorable opinion of the American Dream