Time is one of the most pervasive themes in The Great Gatsby, weaving between characters and situations, slowing and speeding the action until the entire novel seems almost dreamlike. Fitzgerald not only manipulates time in the novel, he refers to time repeatedly to reinforce the idea that time is a driving force not only for the 1920s, a period of great change, but for America itself. We will see Fitzgerald also turns a critical eye to the American concept of time, in effect warning us all to avoid becoming trapped in time.
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