Discussion Topic

The interplay of honesty, dreams, and vision reveals the plot of The Great Gatsby

Summary:

The plot of The Great Gatsby is driven by the interplay of honesty, dreams, and vision. Gatsby's dream of rekindling his romance with Daisy is built on illusions and deceit, while Nick's honest perspective reveals the moral decay of the characters. This contrast highlights the tragic pursuit of the American Dream and the inevitable disillusionment that follows.

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How does the theme of honesty in The Great Gatsby take priority over dreams and vision?

Although I'm not sure that any one theme in Gatsby should take over the others, I think I can help with this question! And perhaps maybe the theme is better stated as, "DIShonesty is the root of all tragic events".

In this book, everyone lies. There is no honesty or truth anywhere, even in Nick, the narrator.

The lack of honesty leads both Daisy and Tom to have affairs, leads Nick to set up Daisy with Gatsby all these years, leads Tom to kill Gatsby and leads Gatsby to suffer the consequences of Daisy's actions.

This book is about the importance of honesty for anyone that is wants to avoide tragedy being invited into their life.

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How do the themes of dream, vision, and honesty in The Great Gatsby reveal its plot?

Your question touches on a number of different themes and messages within this novel and I am only going to respond to the central theme which is the American dream and how it relates to the work as a whole. From this basis you can move to look more specifically at other themes you want to focus on.

Although overtly this novel is about the thwarted love between a man and a woman, critics agree that really this work is a meditation on the destruction of the American dream in the 1920s in the face of material prosperity. 1920s America is depicted by Fitzgerald as a place of hedonism, cynicism and greed. The characters in this novel then represent different aspects of this environment. Jay and Nick represent the new youth who are disillusioned with notions of Victorian morality while there are any number of social climbers who flock around Gatsby and his parties, representing the scramble for wealth. The conflict between old money and new money is represented by East Egg and West Egg respectively, and the fortune of Gatsby and Wolfsheim represents the wealth gained through illegal trade.

In Chapter 9, Nick describes what the American Dream used to be about: individualism, discovery and the pursuit of happiness. In this novel however, relaxed social values and easy money have corrupted this dream. We can see this in the central relationship between Gatsby and Jay. Unable to marry her due to social differences, Gatsby is forced to resort to crime to get enough money to impress her. Daisy's lifestyle is characterised by rampant materialism. Of course Gatsby's dream has taken as its focus an object deeply unworthy, and when his dream has crumbled all Gatsby can do is die.  

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