Saturday, August 3, 2019

Time Essay example -- Literary Analysis, The Great Gatsby

Time, the most impersonal and brutal of juggernauts, cares for neither civilizations nor their cultures; it destroys with a simplistic ease that even the most ardent of warmongers could never achieve. How then can something as simple, as pure, and as vulnerable as a dream stand against the slow but steady stream of time, that beats like particles of sand against the bottom of an hourglass? For a dream to continue to nourish the minds of the masses generation after generation, it must adapt--change to better fit the new circumstances that a change in time invariably evokes. But as a dream changes, is it as pure, as innocent, and as high-minded as it once was? Could the American dream, which has hereto defined the very spirit of the era, have lost its original luster in its adaptation, mutation, and perversion? The American dream has traditionally been defined as the ability to achieve satisfaction, success, or greatness, through work. It states, rather ideally, that the only obstacle to greatness is contained within the dreamer and not the world; that if we as individuals work hard enough nothing can escape our grasp. Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby, explores the ever-elusive nature of the American dream as he questions the very basis upon which we identify ourselves with. Fitzgerald does not, however, question whether the American dream drives us towards greatness as it once did; rather he questions the deficiencies present in our ability to drive, and the path that we take. With every blossoming and withering flower, change of season, and revealed faà §ade, Fitzgerald chips away at the illusionary ‘greatness’ that so pervades the conception of the American dream, showing how its adaptations pervert its original spirit, an... ...onger attainable. The American dream has traditionally been defined as a westward movement, but with the census and Turner declaring the frontier closed, the American dream has been forced to evolve. With nothing lying to the West to explore, people go back East. Nick experiences this after returning from the war and feeling as if the Middle West was â€Å"like the ragged edge of the universe† (3). However Fitzgerald constantly asserts that the East has â€Å"a quality of distortion† (176). Going back â€Å"West from prep school† however, involves â€Å"long green tickets† and an â€Å"[unutterable awareness] of our identity with this country†¦before we melted indistinguishably into it again. That’s my Middle West.† (175-176). The West therefore is the true attainable American dream, but because the frontier is closed the American dream is â€Å"behind [us]†¦beyond the city† (180) and in the past.

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