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Reading Reflection - Essay Example

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Name of the Student Sociology Name of the Concerned Professor 2 July 2012 The Great Gatsby- Reading Reflection The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald is indeed a contemporary American Classic. However, many a times people commit the mistake of mistaking the character of Gatsby to be a prototype for the pursuance of what is quintessentially called the American Dream…
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Reading Reflection

Download file to see previous pages... Indeed, Gatsby is able to reinvent himself as an epitome of affluence and a typical American success story. However, the self reinvention secured by Gatsby is lacking in substance and integrity and he comes out as a love sick young lad who manages to somehow accumulate the patina of the great American dream, managing to shimmer monetarily on the surface of the social scene of the New York of the 20s, and then fading away unsung and least mourned. If evaluated within the scope of reinvention in the light of the American dream, the self reinvention wrought out by Gatsby comes out as being merely skin deep. It is an irony that the popular notions regarding the American Dream mostly tend to hover around pecuniary considerations, while in reality; American Dream is a concept that is too substantial in its scope and ramifications. In the light of this fact, Class does play an important role in the life of Gatsby, especially more so in his early life, when being an ordinary boy from a humble background; he falls in love with Daisy, a girl endowed with means and status. The tragedy of Gatsby was that instead of building his reinvention on integrity and substance, he chooses to opt for the easy way out, to seek a short cut promising an easy and early class shift. In that context the reinvention of Gatsby needs to be analyzed in the light of the times he is placed that is the early 20s. That era was an era of affluence when the social barriers and considerations had become quiet lax (Gross & Gross 23). Besides, the accompanying prohibition offered an easy chance to any daring and willing young man to be a millionaire through shady means. Placed amongst such times, Gatsby, a poor, hurt and dropped young man gets attracted to an idea of reinvention that happened to be purely materialistic, exhibitionist and questionable with regards to the means that it adhered to, to emerge as a success. The other thing that needs to be noticed regarding the reinvention of Gatsby is that till the very end he is evasive of his humble family background. No doubt, Gatsby affiliated to a poor family. In the light of this fact Daisy emerged in his life not only as an object of love, but also as symbol of affluence, status and riches, a kind of life that in a way mocked the humble family background of Gatsby (Bloom 140). Placed in such circumstances it was but quiet natural for a young man to evade his family background out of shame, to enamor his love with pretentions of richness and plenty out of passion, and to aspire to be rich out a belief in one’s potential and sense of daring. Yet, the war spoiled Gatsby’s chances with Daisy and stung by it he somehow felt that it was his humble background and limited means that were really responsible for this. So the young man somehow prepared himself to vehemently reinvent himself to appropriate all that the society of his times associated with status and class. The actual talent and potential of Gatsby eventually gets lost in the din of popular aspirations and pretentions as the writer reveals, “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. … So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful till the end (Fitzgerald Chapter 6).” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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