The Great Gatsby BY: William Jones

Theme

The Main Theme of "The Great Gatsby" is the distinction of Social Classes and Society due to the huge impact it has on the people and huge role it plays on deciding how you are judged. This theme is shown through out the book in instances such as the East and West Eggs being divided in two.

"I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them". (Fitzgerald 87)

"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". (Fitzgerald 7)

"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" (Fitzgerald 9)

Nick Carraway

  • Direct: "I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also me the victim of not a few veteran bores" (Fitzgerald 7)
  • Indirect: "As soon as I arrived, I made an attempt to find my host, but the two or three people of whom I asked where his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way, and denied so vehemently" (Fitzgerald 43)

Jay Gatsby

  • Direct: "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life" (Fitzgerald 8)
  • Indirect: "You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man" (Fitzgerald 44)

Tom Buchanan

  • Direct: "among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven—a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax"
  • Indirect: "He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward" (Fitzgerald 5)

Symbol

The eyes represent God staring down on Earth and how he sees everything happening.

"Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and Enormous, from the dissolving night. “God sees everything,” repeated Wilson.” (Fitzgerald 108)

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