Analyse how the setting helped developed an important theme?
The novel 'The Great Gatsby' by Scott Fitzgerald was considered by many to be an icon of its time. Fitzgerald uses the setting of the roaring 1920s in America to develop the theme of the corrupt American dream. He does this through exposing corruption underlying Gatsby’s wealth, desire for constant entertainment and the contrast between rich and poor in this era.
Fitzgerald firstly develops this theme through exposing what happens behind the closed doors of the so called upper class, new money people in the 1920s society. The fraud and illegal business witnessed by Nick is symbolised as the, “Foul dust (which) floated in the wake of (Gatsby’s) dreams” and which led to his downfall. Gatsby’s dream is to win Daisy back but the way in which he gains this wealth through illegal alcohol and financial fraud is very questionable. A further example of this fraud would be when Gatsby almost proudly acclaimed that his friend Wolfsheim, “Fixed the World Series,” in baseball.
Fitzgerald also uses the need for constant entertainment by the people of the 1920's to develop this theme further. In the 1920s outrageous and vulgar parties were thrown by the rich new money upper class in order to gain popularity and to show off to others how they had achieved the American dream. Although many people came to Gatsby’s parties Fitzgerald shows us that the people have no loyalty to the host and are there purely for the entertainment, thus further demonstrating how wrong the corrupt American dream is. For example when Gatsby throws parties a whole crowd of people turn up to use Gatsby for his money, they spread nasty rumours about him being,” German,” and that he,” Killed a man.” Also when Gatsby dies none of them turn up to his funeral because they have no use for him anymore. Through this contrast Fitzgerald suggests that the need for entertainment in the 1920s era overrode the moral values and how the mindless...
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