In the novel, the author criticizes the American society in the 1920s in regards of the wastage of the resources, the form of superficial relationships and the era which was obsessed over appearances. The work is the depiction of the real brutalism and the way adopted for representing the, then period. The New York Times referred to this era as the drink gin was the national symbol and sexual orientation was the obsession of the nation. The indifference in the society means the social failure and especially the American east society should concentrate more on imbibing the important concepts of truth, honesty and justice among the people of the country. The author criticizes the wasteful intentions of the people in the American society and makes use of the valley of ashes to exemplify this ugly truth of the American society. The valley of ashes is the bleak area which is situated between the West Egg and the New York City where the ashes transform into houses and chimneys and then men move in the dimly air. The wasteland is presented as the unpleasant place and represents the home of the lofty aristocrats. However, the New York City is the excitable and fashionable hub for people to make merry, live, work and enjoy with what they possessed. Therefore, it can be said that the Great Gatsby is the brilliant piece of writing which is a social commentary which offers a vivid peak into the life of America in the 1920s (Fitzgerald, 1991, p.91).
In order to understand the genius of the writer of Scott Fitzgerald, one needs to understand the theme of American dream that surrounds the plot. The American dream states that every individual who has worked hard and has an ambition to achieve should be rewarded. In the story of The Great Gatsby, many characters make efforts for achieving the American dream. In the story, Fitzgerald presents the American dream through the character of Jay Gatsby. The character Gatsby makes efforts to change his life from possessing nothing to being very rich. His success ratio is mapped during the time when corruption was at its peak. In actuality, the business which made Gatsby rich is not disclosed in the plot but it is indicated that he got into some illegal business.
Through the portrayal of the character of Gatsby, the author attempts to highlight American dream but by adding the illegal aspect to the same, he makes the whole dream more complex. The success of the character of Gatsby is depicted through his reluctance to follow the rules and norms of the society. In one of the novels titled, A Corruption of Character published in the year 2008, the character of Gatsby as the corrupt character who has illicit intentions at heart of his dream. The fact that Gatsby has the potential to fulfil his dreams shows that the people do not have the same kind of opportunities to fulfil their American dream.
It is portrayed that Gatsby has little information about the American society and has romantic view of the wealth which represents the social class. According to the story, there is a discussion of a bond which is stronger than wealth of the people for instance, Gatsby has earned a lot of wealth but he is unfit to be a part of the society where Tom and Daisy belong. The objective of leading the life full of luxuries, Myrtle (another novel character) decides to have an illicit relationship with Tom. However, this decision harms her as her marriage with George is ruined and it leads to her demise and the loss of true happiness. Myrtle is the character who values wealth and a luxurious life and has the urge to be famous. She gets into reading a lot of magazines which keeps alive her hope to be rich and famous. In the first instance, Myrtle appreciates her marriage with George but later, when she discovers that the suit worn by George in their marriage ceremony was borrowed, then she looks down upon George by thinking that he could not afford his own suit in his marriage. However, Myrtle perceives Tom as a different person and respects him by thinking that he can afford his own suit in his marriage. The attraction of Myrtle towards Tom is not only for his appearance but also his wealth. Therefore, through the character of Myrtle, the author attempts to depict the ugliness of the American society which rests on the wealth of the people but not on making strong relationships with them.