What Is The Archetype In The Great Gatsby

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In his seminal novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the lives of his characters to illustrate the monumental impact America’s brief engagement in WW1 had on the nation’s economy, participants and supporters back home. He makes particular notice of the impact on women and veterans. However, it is his delineation of the extent to which values considered sacrosanct in the American ideology in the pre-war era, and particularly in his own native Midwest have been torn asunder by the stark reality of the war experience that is the central theme of the novel. The once integral mythos of universal opportunity, social equality and potential upward mobility is made a virtual mockery by his depiction of life in urban and suburban New York…show more content…
Like Daisy, Myrtle finds herself in a loveless marriage, and seeks solace in the arms of another man, ironically, Daisy’s husband. Unlike Daisy, Myrtle has married a man who is unable to provide her with the financial security and social mobility she desperately seeks. She belittles her husband in front of Nick, an actual stranger: “The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out. ‘Oh, is that your suit?’ I said. ‘This is the first I ever heard about it.’ But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon.” (TGG, Chapter 2) In Tom, however, she finds no love, no respect and no consideration. Ironically, and tragically, Myrtles confrontation with her husband, who truly loves her, ends with her fleeing the gas station and being fatally struck by Gatsby’s car. Her distorted American Dream ends with her lifeless body by the side of the…show more content…
From his highly impoverished roots in the Midwest, Gatsby longs for the better life; embodied for him by the Daisy he meets before the war. When they are separated by the war, and she marries Tom, he never gives up his quest to win her back. She’s shown as something precious and out of reach, embodied by the green light he worships from afar at the end of her dock. As Fredrick Millett points out “…we see Gatsby reaching out for it, almost, in a way, worshiping it. We find out later that this green light is at the end of Daisy’s dock, and is a symbol for Gatsby’s dream and the hope for the future. Green is the color of promise, hope, and renewal – so it is fitting that Gatsby’s dream of a future with Daisy be represented physically in the novel by this green light.2 ” Gatsby himself is a re-invention, escaping his entire identity and establishing his fortune in the post-war world of bootlegging. The illegal distribution of alcohol epitomizes the corruption of American values and ideals, and Gatsby seizes on it as his catapult into the rarified air of Daisy’s society. But his shot comes up a bit short. His enormous house is in West Egg, a newer community for the recently wealthy, but separated, in this case by a literally bay, from the prized established upper class, represented by East Egg. So, in spite of his wealth, his purported status as

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