A Journey Greater Than You Think, Unknown in Its Details, But More Loving Than Nostalgia : -An Analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för humaniora

Abstract: Abstract This essay is an analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and it explores how identity and ideology always exist in a context of time. The American 1920s society was influenced by theories brought by Marxism, Albert Einstein and Freud. This era was highly influenced by cultural influencers, individuals such as Fitzgerald who became one of the greatest to mould and describe the era he lived in. When reviewing Fitzgerald’s text almost a century later, and at the verge of entering the 2020s, it becomes clear that some fundamental features of culture remain ever-present in the American culture. The multifaceted perspective presented to readers by Fitzgerald raises important questions regarding where the real is overruled and transformed by the ideal. The American 1920s was an era of contradictions which also is reflected in Fitzgerald’s ironic tone and in Gatsby’s smile. Fitzgerald offers an understanding which reaches as far as anyone would want to understand. Linchpins in this essay are the interaction between identity, ideology and social codes and the morality which drives actions and reactions and forms a link between the coexistence of contradictions. Social structures are part of history and the impact history possesses over culture, via nostalgia, is relevant for ideas today. Which clues do history and Fitzgerald’s text provide and store for us and can old ideas enlighten us to bring new solutions, or clarity, to apprehend anything about the future? There is a correspondence, a red thread, between eras such as the 1920s and the year of 2019 in the American society today, which explains why the ideas and ideals Fitzgerald portrayed as important parts of identity and culture a hundred years ago, also matter today.

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