Working on the Great Gatsby Analysis Essay: Elaborating On the Main Idea of the Novel

On the surface, the main idea of the Great Gatsby is one in which a thwarted between a young man and a former lover play out their romance over the decline of what was once called the American Dream that occurred in the extravagant 1920s. The main idea however can be expanded and elaborated on when one analyzes the novel further through major themes and characters. Here are a few things to consider:

Major themes of the Great Gatsby:

The growth of the rising American wealth class as presented in the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock across the bay. Gatsby sees Daisy as a sort of idealized perfection that is neither deserved nor one that she actually possesses in her natural state.

The shallowness of the newly rich and how different they are in relation to the older aristocracy. In the novel Fitzgerald presents the new rich as those who live in West Egg and are presented as gaudy, vulgar, lacking in taste and social graces while the older aristocracy live in East Egg and possess such qualities like elegance, subtlety and grace.

Weather emphasizes the major confrontations and relationships between characters. For instance, Daisy and Gatsby’s reunion occurs during a storm that forces them to stay indoors and renew their intimacy, while Gatsby’s confrontation with Tom occurs on one of the hottest days of the year.

Major characters in the Great Gatsby:

Jay Gatsby: The central character rose from a poor childhood to become extremely wealthy and extravagant in his ways. But he achieved to gain his wealth by taking part in organized crime such as bootlegging and negotiating in securities that are stolen and sold illegally.

Nick Carraway: In some ways, Nick represent another side of Fitzgerald who viewed himself as a reflective and quite young man who found himself adrift in the East coast. He lives in a world that is new but exciting at the same time. Nick is able to observe and assist but plays an integral role in how the entire story unfolds.

Daisy Buchanan: As Nick’s cousin, Daisy is the object of Gatsby’s affection. Partially based on Fitzgerald’s own wife, Zelda, she is extremely popular among several suitors and Gatsby had to lie to compare to the pedestal upon which he idealized her to stand upon. After she commits and marries another man, Gatsby becomes obsessed with a long term plan to win her back.