The Great Gatsby Theme

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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III: Theme One theme in the novel, The Great Gatsby is: While a person my have wealth, power and social standing; if he is not happy, then his efforts are in vain. The character Jay Gatsby fit that theme well. He had it all: money, power, social status, a big house, nice cars; but what he didn't have was love. Although he loved Daisy with all his heart, he was unable to have his love returned. Daisy just did not love him anymore.

Another theme in the novel is: Careless people lead careless lives. Many of the characters in the book are described as careless. Daisy, Tom and Jordan are examples of them. They lead lives with no real purpose; they travel to different locations consistently, make fake friendships and have affairs with absolutely no regard for other people's emotions. They use people like toy dolls. First they play with them, and when they become boring, they throw them away.

Many moral and ethical problems with the society of East and West Egg were described in the novel. The illegal sale and production of alcohol was a big one. During the 1920's prohibition was in effect throughout the United States. Many of the upper-class citizens ignored this law and obtained, through illegal dealings, liquor. Jordan Baker also contributed to the moral dishonesty of East Egg. She was a golfer who cheated at one of her tournaments. Throughout the duration of the novel, the character Wolfsheim is introduced. He was the man who "fixed" the World Series of 1919.

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