What are the values and goals of the world described in The Great Gatsby? What kind of person survives in this world? the values and goals of the world in this time

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janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The values in the world described by Nick in the Great Gatsby, are false values, as Nick witnesses in the end of the story. The values of people like Daisy and Tom are about material goods and wealth. Those with material goods are highly valued (why people like Gatsby, why they come to his parties), and nobody else really exists, and when they do, they exist to be used (i.e Muriel.) Nick finds himself getting sucked into this world, but he still has midwestern values that prevents himself from being caught up in a system that rewards materialistic values. Nick is the only one who seems aware of this. Consider the end of the story, Daisy and Tom just leave, and don't even consider Gatsby's death. They value the material, and when its gone, they don't suffer, but move on. Fitzgerald was showing the callousness that he percieved in society. Gatsby, in fact, acquired his wealth, solely so that he could fit into the society to which Daisy and Tom belong. He knows that without his wealth, no one would pay him the time of day. Morality, is not valued, material goods are. There are no spiritual values in a place where money reigns: the traditional ideas of God and Religion are dead here, and the American dream is direly corrupted. Nick cannot survive in this world as he starts to see Gatsby's moral superiority to those around him, and becomes disallusioned. Tom is the person who survives in this type of world because he doesn't let anything bother him. He is content in his callousness and his material goods. Fitzgerald wrote his story this way as a comment on how he saw the Jazz Age becoming.

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The Great Gatsby

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