The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s. On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman. The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a much larger society/social class, less romantic scope. ... Fitzgerald positions the characters of The Great Gatsby as emblems of these social trends.
"I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth." (Pg. 2)
"When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. (Pg. 2)
"I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called her instinctively and without hesitation. But she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them.
"Left no address?"
"Say when they'd be back?"
"Any idea where they are? How I could reach them?"
"I don't know. Can't say." (Pg. 164)
Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you a lot—like the ability to have other people clean up your messes, whether we're talking about toilets or a string of murder/ suicides.