In Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, what American Ideal(s) are satirized with each character below?1.Tom & Daisy 2. Gatsby 3. Easterners (ex. people at Gatsby's parties, etc.) 4. Jordan...

In Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, what American Ideal(s) are satirized with each character below?

1.Tom & Daisy

2. Gatsby

3. Easterners (ex. people at Gatsby's parties, etc.)

4. Jordan Baker

I'm trying to organize my essay, but I'm having trouble with the American Ideals.

 

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kmalone614 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, American ideals are satirized in many different ways. The way in which Fitzgerald chooses to do this is through his characters. Below are just a few of the characters and the American ideals that they represent.

Tom and Daisy - Here the American ideal Fitzgerald chooses to satirize is that of a perfect marriage. The picture on all of the advertisements of the time, of the perfect, happy family sitting around the dinner table, a roast made by the wife, and dad just home from work, with time to play with the little ones, is not the picture that Fitzgerald chooses to paint with Daisy and Tom. They are unhappy and look elsewhere for what they are not getting in their marriage.

Gatsby - Probably the most overarching American ideal that is made light of is that of the American dream. Gatsby supposedly made something of himself from the work he did, and now he's reaping the benefits of that hard work. However we soon learn that Gatsby's money was not so honestly earned after all, and that "American dream" that he had supposedly earned, was not so dreamy anyway, as he spent most nights looking longingly for love across the water.

Easterners - Here Fitzgerald is mocking the wealthy. One of the major American ideals is the ideal of the happiness associated with wealth. These Easterners are very wealthy, spending days at a time lounging at parties, but rarely if ever do we see them happy. Fitzgerald paints the picture of these people as empty and searching, not so happy.

Jordan Baker - Probably one of the most obviously satirized characters is Ms. Baker. Here, Fitzgerald shows that women acting like men (the first time we meet Jordan, she has just been out golfing and she's wearing pants - edgy for the time period) don't gain so much self-confidence as they do lose relationships. Every time we see Jordan, she is aloof, separate, and alone.

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