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Period 6 - Peck
Commentary On The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a well recognized and skillfully written novel in which the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, uses many techniques in order to convey a central theme. This theme, if correctly interpreted, can tell us many things about the life of Americans in the 1920’s. The story’s narrator, Nick, tells a frightening tale about a man he so desperately wants to understand, Gatsby. Through his symbolism and honesty, the author uses these characters to illustrate the theme of the decline of one of the most prosperous times in American History, the 1920’s.
The author of the Great Gatsby uses symbolism in order to paint a larger and more interesting picture of the economic classes of the time. Early on in the novel, we are introduced to the separation between two neighboring areas, East egg, and West Egg. East Egg is described as a neighborhood filled with more established, respected, and educated people. In simpler terms, these people could be referred to as being “old money.” By contrast, West Egg is inhabited by people who have more recently acquired their wealth, and in some cases, have acquired it illegally. This can be simply referred to as “new money”. This place is described as being less fashionable. In between these two is an area referred to as the “valley of ashes”, a place seen as being dark and lifeless, where people with less money and power live. The American dream meant to Americans that anyone, wh...