At the time of the appearance of the novel “The Great Gatsby”, the writer and the era in which his star ascended, were so identified in the mass view that the book, which proved to be Fitzgerald’s supreme conquest, was read as another sad “tale of the jazz century”, although its problems are much more complicated.
Determining the significance of this novel, A. Zverev wrote: “Having absorbed the gamut of prevailing moods then, the” Great Gatsby “stood out sharply against the background of everything written by Fitzgerald before, mainly due to the historicism of thinking, which allowed the author to relate the crisis of faith that occurred in 20-ies, with the dramatic evolution of a long-standing national myth – the “American dream”.
The concept of the “Great Gatsby” has undergone a long evolution. Initially, Fitzgerald intended to attribute the action to the 80th years of the last century, choosing the background of the events of New York and the Midwest of that time. This plan was set out in two letters to the publisher M. Perkins, dated June 1922. The novel’s novel is related to the novels of Fitzgerald “Winter Dreams” and “Absolution.”
In the very novel “The Great Gatsby” reflected the case of a major New York broker Fuller-McGee, who declared himself bankrupt, about which much wrote in 1923, American newspapers. As the investigation found out, the management of the Fuller-McGee company illegally used the funds of its shareholders for a risky exchange game. According to numerous evidence, behind the back of Fuller was one of the largest speculators of the times “Prosperity” A. Rotstein, but he managed to get out of the water. In 1922, Fitzgerald spent the summer on Long Island next door to Fuller’s villa, which explains the writer’s heightened interest in the matter. In the guise of the protagonist Gatsby, there is an unconditional resemblance to Fuller, and his relationship with Wolfshim resembles the relationship between Fuller and Rothstein. There is a similarity with Fuller’s biography and in the main collisions of Gatsby.
The novel “The Great Gatsby” appeared simultaneously with the “American tragedy” of Dreiser. The heroes of both books strive to realize the “American dream”, which is reduced to them for wealth and prestige, and suffer a crushing defeat. Clyde Griffiths and Jay Gatsby, as A.N. Nikolyukin, “two variants of the same social type, a young man who is ready to go to all things to realize his dream, listening only to one call -” the drums of his destiny. ” Luxury and disorderly tricks at Villa Gatsby – the microcosm of the American “Jazz Age” … through which illusions and dreams of Gatsby himself, his ridiculous vulgarity and imaginary greatness shine through “[Nikolyukin, 49].
The story of the evolution and collapse of Gatsby’s dream is the story of his vain and tragic attempt to join the standard of living of American rich people, in whose very voice “money sounds.” A brief summary of the problems of A.N. Nikolyukin conveys these words: “A fervent imagination pushes Gatsby to self-assertion after the model of Benjamin Franklin or the heroes of the popular in his time novels of Khoreisho Elger about a successful young man.
He longed to become a rich man, although he did not know what wealth and success really means in practice. Meeting with millionaire Dan Cody decides his fate. Realizing his ideal, Gatsby seeks to find outside himself something that is worth living for. This second Gatsby dream comes true when he meets Daisy, the daughter of wealthy parents, becomes her lover. However, the connection with the world of wealth leads to the death of Gatsby with the same natural inevitability as the death of Druiser Clyde, who regretted joining the same world of wealth. The very “American dream” conceals a trap in itself “[Nikolyukin, 32].
But the problems of the novel can not be reduced to the collisions that characterize the short-lived “jazz” era of American life. According to A. Zverev, “the tragedy described in the” Great Gatsby “turned out to be a typical American tragedy, to such an extent not new, that it was impossible to blame her for the golden boom of the times of” prosperity “that destroyed more than one life. The roots of the main conflict go much deeper.
They are drawn to the origins of America’s entire social experience, sanctified by the unattainable dream of an “earthly sanctuary for a single person”, full equality of opportunity and unlimited space for the individual. They go into the “American Dream”, which took hold of the hero of the novel, Jay Gatsby. “The rules that he established for himself from his youth are in his way a complete code of conduct for every believer in the” dream “and firmly committed to diligence, frugality, sober calculation and hard work to break his way in life, by his own example, to prove that the chances are equal for all and decide only the qualities of the person himself “.