Corruption affects both the elite class and outcasts through the divisions that separate the two, which are fame and money. The concept that classifies people through their status quo can affect one’s self, mentally and emotionally. This is true for the society in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, set in the 1920s, where there is an immense distinction between the elite and the untouchables. Jay Gatsby, the hero of the story, portrays the role of a man who comes from rags to riches and his success results to his downfall as he becomes ignorant of the true reality. The motive for metaphor, which is corruption, unfolds in the novel through Frye’s story of tragedy, Jung’s archetypes and Campbell’s hero monomyth as they give depth to the real foundation of corruption, the American Dream.
The Great Gatsby is a tragic story because Nick’s meeting with Gatsby causes him to lose his innocence and to realize the corrupt ways of people. Primarily when Gatsby brings Nick into the barber shop, Nick astonishingly sees the secret room wherein the businessmen, government officials and some of the most influential people gather together to gamble, watch the flappers’ performances and drink alcohol as long as they can. Gatsby exposes Nick to his underworld life, alluring him with all the pleasures that can cloud the mind. Nick untangles himself from the reality and begins to engage in the way of living of the Americans – the huge and wild parties that bring about the hubris and greed in Jay Gatsby as he shows off his fancy mansion that is filled with lights; the sin of gluttony in all of the people who attend the party just to experience Gatsby’s life and to have an unlimited supply of alcoholic drinks. Prior to his meeting with Nick, he is able to redeem himself in mid-summer, after Dan Cody’s family cheat him of his inheritance and leaves him poor. However, his sudden success creates a big question in the society of New York asking, “Where did the money come from?” Jay Gatsby, a tragic hero for himself, suffers a tragic flaw which is believing and living the American Dream as he ventures himself into bootlegging. He appears to deal with people who are in a bond industry and also smuggles alcohol in the drugstore. By doing all his dirty businesses, he returns to the society of New York with a new identity and a higher social class, hoping to start a new beginning with Daisy. Furthermore, Gatsby is all alone at his parties and acquires few friends as he remains to isolate himself from the society. This manifests his downfall because during his death, no one from his guests who experienced his hospitality decide to go to see him for the last time and pay respect. His fall embarks a deeper meaning of the American Dream in the society, giving rise to the idea of false hopes. This idea alters the minds of people as they believe to achieve material success through hard work and sacrifices. Therefore, the novel The Great Gatsby involves an element of tragedy as it demonstrates the theme of loss of innocence and realization when Nick Carraway moves towards West Egg, and the hero’s tragic flaw by giving into the concept of the American Dream.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, complies with Carl Jung’s archetypes as it includes symbolism that evolves through Jay Gatsby’s dreams and visions that link to his faith in the American Dream. During his teenage years, he runs away from home to search for his destiny of having future glory. He meets Dan Cody, an alcoholic millionaire, during his journey to the coast and saves Cody’s yacht from danger. From then on, he starts working for Cody which gives him the opportunity to achieve his dream. Dan Cody acts as a mentor to James Gatsby by helping him to build himself up as he changes his identity into Jay Gatsby. Yet, this new chapter of Gatsby’s life introduces him to the idea of the American Dream, which eventually convinces him to do