Gatsby knows and aspirations of a completely different kind – not utilitarian, not self-seeking. And such aspirations are also in tune with the “dream”. “In some respects,” A. Zverev goes on to say, “Gatsby is a complete” new Adam “, as many before Fitzgerald passed through American literature: from Cooper’s Natty Bampo to Huck Finn. But in the 1920s, something was seriously shaken in the self-awareness of the Americans. For the first time and the “dream” itself began to be realized as a tragic illusion, not only not exalting the person, but, on the contrary, giving it into the power of destructive individualistic impulses or deceiving hopes, which are known to be empty and vain.
This was the topic of Dreiser and Lewis. Fitzgerald found his angle and his tone. His special sensitivity to the painful phenomena of the “jazz century” was affected. Affected “undiminished hatred” of the rich, to people like Tom Buchanan, who personifies in the novel a world of soulless utilitarianism, aggressive self-interest, militant bourgeois immorality. Fitzgerald’s ability to recognize the tragedy accurately, even when it is hidden behind a brilliant masquerade, has affected. Finally, his confidence in any illusions and “legends” finally increased, and because the “legend” was already accompanying him, becoming intolerable for the writer and prompting him to leave for Europe in the spring of 1924 with the sole purpose of “discarding my former” self “Once and for all”.
“The Great Gatsby” is a book where the peculiarity of Fitzgerald’s talent has been revealed more fully, which critics define as a “double vision”, referring to his ability “simultaneously to keep in mind two directly opposite ideas”, entering one into another into conflictual relations, the the most dramatic movement of the plot and the development of characters; he himself in the “Crash” called this ability a criterion of a genuine culture of the spirit.
“In Gatsby, the author’s consciousness” keeps “the whole inconsistency of the content of the” American dream “- and, most importantly, Fitzgerald’s rule of her bankruptcy”.
When the editor M. Perkins, after reading the manuscript sent by Fitzgerald from Paris, advised him to describe the figure of the protagonist more clearly, Fitzgerald replied: “Strange, but the vagueness inherent in Gatsby proved to be exactly what you need”.
In the “Great Gatsby” everything is based on the duality of the main character, the ambiguity of his motives. The plot itself is similar to the story itself, similar in appearance to the stories of the “mystery novel” (the mysterious villa and its owner, about which there are different rumors: “like he once killed a man”, or “during the war German spy “, romantic intrigue, detective investigation, the mystery of doom), but containing a serious, philosophical content. A. Zverev also writes about the same: “The novel, built as a crime story on everyday motives, grew into a philosophical narrative relating to the painful problems associated with deformations of the American moral ideal of the individual, asserting itself in the struggle for happiness and that justifies its own individualism “. Dual motives for the actions of the characters of the second plan (Jordan Baker, guests at the Gatsby receptions), as they all seek to dispel the mystery that enveloped the equal hero long before he appears in the story of Nick Carraway.
The whole story is full of metaphors, contrasting this double perspective of the events taking place in it: a carnival in the Gatsby estate – and the garbage dump next to his house, a “green light” of happiness that momentarily shone upon the hero – and dead eyes looking from a giant billboard , etc. The fragile poetry of the “Jazz Age” and its reverse side – the rampant ambitious ambitions that engender amoralism – are transmitted by the writer in their indissoluble unity.
Duality is manifested in comparing different motives: carnival and tragedy, festivity and cold prudence, fun and cold deadness, love and venality.
Thus, the “magic” of the carnival, which does not cease during almost the entire action of the novel, intensifies and takes on a dramatic connotation due to the close presence of the “ruinous place” – Valley Slag: here, under the wheels of the car that Daisy controls, Buchanan’s mistress will die, and Gatsby will pay with life For a tragedy in which he is innocent.
In the festive atmosphere of carefree revelry, guests of Gatsby, who seem to have returned to their natural relaxedness, the festive perception of life, speak in voices in which “money rings.” To the house of Gatsby, in which, as in the country’s amusement park, always lively and joyful, one must go past the billboard with Dr. Ecklberg’s empty and cold eyes painted on him, a dead idol reigning over the dump of unfulfilled hopes.