The Great Gatsby's Theme
On one level the novel comments on the careless gaiety and moral decadence of the period. It contains innumerable references to the contemporary scene. The wild extravagances of Gatsby's parties, the shallowness and aimlessness of the guests and the hint of Gatsby's involvement in crime all identify the period and the American setting. But as a piece of social commentary The Great Gatsby also describes the failure of the American dream,
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showed last 75 words of 696 total
reality cannot keep up with ideals, but also because the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realized. The heroic presentation of Gatsby, therefore, should not be taken at face value, for we cannot overlook the fact that Gatsby is naive, impractical and over sentimental. It is this that makes him attempt the impossible, to repeat the past. There is something pitiful and absurd about the way he refuses to grow up.