The Great Gatsby 3 Essay

Submitted By Emilie-Zaenker
Words: 1310
Pages: 6

So many meanings, so little time
The 1920’s were a time of great technological and social innovation. Technology, music and even social expectations underwent many changes during this decade and F. Scott-Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby seems to reflect on these strides. Then again it also seems to depict an understated power struggle between the genders and the flaws of humanity. A humanity that just happens to exist during the early 20th century. To fully comprehend Fitzgerald’s meaning we have to go beyond our reserved personal readings and apply structured readings such as Psychoanalytic, Feminist, Marxist criticism and New Historicism to gather all possible intended purpose of the text and their significance.
Psychoanalytic criticism is the reading in which one focuses on the character’s state of mind and what things affect them into feeling these emotions. Nick Carroway; the narrator, and in many ways the protagonist of this novel, gives us the most intricate insight into his emotions, by openly retelling everything he remembers about his time spent in New York. Nick being a character of moral back ground does not tend to get involved with the scandals that surround him, and rather shows himself as a bystander in his own story, “The late sky bloomed in the window for a moment like blue honey of the Mediterranean - then the shrill voice of Mrs. McKee called me back into the room.” He describes himself in this scene as not being interested in what Mrs. McKee wants to say but would rather be alone with the changing colors of the sky and the activities of all that goes on outside the window rather than be with Tome Buchanan as he is blatantly disloyal to his wife. Fitzgerald however does not just depict him as a loner, Nick is shown humorous sand yet too naïve to catch onto the meaning others are trying to convey. “‘Tom’s got some woman in New York.’ ‘Some woman?’ I repeated blankly” followed soon by, “ I was confused and a little disgusted” Nick demonstrates here that he would have never contemplated the possibility of The Buchanan’s having marriage troubles or that a person could so openly go against the institution of the matrimonial state and that to him this is a abominable act to commit. Through a psychoanalytic reading Nick Carroway is shown as a gentle being with idealistic morals represent of his time.
Another reading of this critically acclaimed novel is that of a gender centered war, greatly shown by Tom and Daisy Buchanan who have a less than loving relationship and thus spend their long days testing out who can overthrow the other. These hostilities from daisy’s side seem to mainly aid her image towards society and signify that she is a woman that deeply cares about what society thinks. “As if [Tom]’s absence quickened something in her … her heart was trying to conceal one of those breathless, thrilling words. The suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and went into the house.” We her husband leaves the dinner table to have telephone conversation with his mistress Daisy soon follows to argue his actions and ask him to be more civil but as far as we know she shows no objection to him having a mistress. All she cares about is keeping that knowledge in the family but her husband does not seem to care if anyone is criticizing them for his actions. Their arguments become a little less Private and a little more public, to the point when neither Tom nor Daisy really think the people surrounding them matter, “’Open the Whisky , Tom,’ she ordered… ‘Wait a minute’ Tom snapped.” This is said in front of Jordan, Nick and Gatsby. Jordan is of no importance because her and daisy are best friends and she already knows, Gatsby is the reason for the argument so why not involve him and Nick is always just depicted as an innocent bystander, a shadow on the wall, and as someone easily forgotten. The Buchanans at the climax of their plot are so engrossed in their war that they leave…