「위대한 개츠비」에 나타난 미국의 꿈의 연구
(A) Study of American dream in the great gatsby
위대한 개츠비 미국 꿈;
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The Great Gatsby is not only a profound study of the nature of American materialism and idealism, but also an attempt to restore the balance which the early Puritanism pursued. In The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald shows a tenacious resistance to the materialism by reporting its destructive effects on humanity through the narrator, Nick Carraway. Resisting the corrupted materialism strongly, he tries to deliver the very message of Gatsby's romantic wonder that the authors of Lost Generation in America have tried to revive since World War I. With Fitzgerald's antipathy toward materialism in their mind, since the seventies, many critics have analyzed the novel from the socio-historical point of view, maintaining that Fitzgerald's intention in this novel is to show the destruction of the American Dream. However, these social criticisms cannot explain the complexity of the novel, especially the romantic and positive vision insinuated at the end of the novel. To redress this problem, this thesis argues that Fitzgerald's social criticism in The Great Gatsby does not mean the end of the American Dream but its continuance. As many social critics have indicated, The Great Gatsby is a portrayal of the spirit lacking in America in the 1920s. In this age, moral was destroyed by material corruption and physical pleasure, and only the sense of voidness and boredom was prevalent. This spiritual devastation and moral vacuum is manifested in all the classes in The Great Gatsby : the traditional high society of Tom and Daisy in the East Egg, an overnight millionaire Gatsby, a newly emerged upper-class, the lower class represented by the Wilson and" a valley of ashes. "Gatsby's romantic wonder, already corrupted by the immoral and material temperament of American civilization, is shattered by Tom's hard malice and Daisy's indifference. Therefore, in a sense, Gatsby is a victim of a material- oriented world. However, Fitzgerald declares that Gatsby's dream, or American idealism, is incorrupted and is continued by Nick. This declaration is suggested by the symbol of the "green light," Nick's complete sympathy toward Gatsby, and his final return to the West. Of course, Gatsby is also responsible for his own downfall: he is an immature romantic dreamer. Above all, he is a bootlegger who used all kinds of means for his aim. However, his faults are also those of the entire nation in that Gatsby represents Americans of the 20the century. As a result, his death is closely related to the dilemma of American civilization. All in all, The Great Gatsby is continuously popular not only because it shows the most ideal type of American Dream: the material prosperity and balance based on the moral innocence, but also because Gatsby's romantic readiness is getting more valuable in modem society where the sense of loss and disillusion has become an essential factors. The collapse of Gatsby' s dream, that is, the collapse of American Dream paradoxically means a request of reconfirming American traditions. Although Gatsby's dream ends up with tragedy, Fitzgerald seems to tell the younger generation to run faster to the American Dream neither as a personal matter nor as a nostalgic, romantic possibility. Instead, he regards it as a continuing definite characteristic of the America and its people. Eventually, he makes American Dream go on by animating Gatsby's romantic wonder.