Grapes Of Wrath Essay example

Submitted By guitarskylz
Words: 1265
Pages: 6

Aaron Cole
Ellis English 11
The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott. Fitzgerald describes the downfall of a number of affluent individuals living in New York City during the early 1920s. Told through the eyes of stock broker Nick Carraway, the story follows the demise of two marriages which, caught between the corrupt and immoral forces of Jazz Age society, come to tragic ends. As the only somewhat neutral character, Nick reveals how the corruption and deceit which surrounds him tears apart the lives of many of his friends. However, Nick himself is not without fault. The lives of all of the characters are built on lies and treachery. By emphasizing the deceitful and materialistic mindset of his characters, Fitzgerald comments on the moral problems of American society during the Jazz Age. The lives of nearly all of Fitzgerald’s characters are built on foundations of fraud and deception. Love affairs in particular play a crucial part in undermining the lives of these characters. Tom and Daisy Buchanan, George and Myrtle Wilson, and Jay Gatsby are all affected by two affairs: one between Tom and Myrtle, and another between Gatsby and Daisy. The affair between Tom and Myrtle is particularly detrimental since it reveals a terrible flaw in the marriage between Myrtle and George Wilson. George is no more than a simple gas station owner who can hardly make ends meet. He is a hard-working, modest, faithful, and honest man who is oblivious to the corruption which surrounds him (at least until the end of the story). He simply wants to make enough money to move westward with his wife, Myrtle, and live at ease. Myrtle however has been far from fair to him, blatantly engaging in an affair knowing that it would destroy George if he ever found out. As the affair develops, George becomes nothing to Myrtle. Nick describes one occasion where Tom comes to pick up Myrtle saying that she “walked through her husband as if he were a ghost” (26). Always the victim of the others corrupt and selfish activities, George represents innocence and morality caught in the midst of a society built on dishonesty and selfishness. Another major example of fraud and deception in The Great Gatsby is found in Gatsby’s lifestyle. Gatsby lives in an extremely nice house and regularly throws extravagant parties. He owns nice cars and employs multiple servants to take care of his enormous property. Word of his wealth spreads throughout New York and by the middle of the story people from all around are attending his parties and admiring his wealthy lifestyle. Though it would be nice to believe that Gatsby earned his wealth honestly, Nick learns that Gatsby became wealthy through bootlegging (an occupation which was, at the time, highly illegal). It is not until the very end of the story when nearly all of the truth comes out into the open. The corruption which plagued the lives of each character resulted in a chain reaction which eventually leaded to Myrtle’s death, Gatsby’s murder, and George’s suicide. Tom and Myrtle’s affair, Gatsby and Daisy’s affair, and Gatsby’s fraudulent lifestyle all play a major part in the downfall of these characters. While focusing on deceit and fraudulence, Fitzgerald also plays with the materialistic mindset of his characters to comment on Jazz Age corruption. The Great Gatsby looks at the lives of extremely prosperous people who live in extremely affluent areas of New York City. Both Tom’s and Gatsby’s homes are enormous and lavishly adorned. Gatsby’s house in particular is extravagantly fashioned with fancy furniture and other nice things, despite the fact that he lives alone. Gatsby even has a library filled with thousands of real books. However, none of them have been opened making the library no more than a show of Gatsby’s wealth. Gatsby fortune is also manifested in the parties he regularly throws complete with “spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a