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Fitzgerald’s Ultra-modernist Novel The Great Gatsby

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 F, Scott Fitzgerald once said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” A meta-narrative is an abstract that conveys the historical experience of the time.

Fitzgerald’s ‘ultra-modernist’ novel, The Great Gatsby auspiciously emanates the abiding relevance of 20th-century novel for a contemporary audience by responding context of the “roaring ’20s. Fitzgerald wrote to expose haunting truths about societal values of the time, which remains significant for a contemporary audience.

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Which remains momentous for its inherent ability to remain ambiguous, in many contexts. Enabling readers to weigh their own universal experience against the lives and cultures, those of the ‘20s, comparing significant similarities between periods. Readers at the time publication failed to acknowledge the significance of revealing the feudalist hedonistic system of society. However, nearly a century later, readers use the novel to make sense of the ’20s by analysing the dominant and resistant values and concepts that defined the dislocated yet opulent society that mirrors today’s plutocratic universal experience, through Fitzgerald’s evocative writing style.

Earning the title of the most esteemed grand narrative of the 20th century Fitzgerald evocative writing style captures the “whole upper tenth of a nation living with the insouciance of grand dukes and the casualness of chorus girl”. Featuring literary devices such as symbols “As a way of using something integral to reach beyond the work and engage the world of value.. As well as using characterisation to reveal true intentions of the time.

Colour redolently defines the beautifully dangerous spiritual wasteland that was the Flapper Period.

The colour white is used to radiate the immaculate and pure beauty of the upper class, associated with Daisy and Jordan. Both in white, dresses were rippling and fluttering”. The passage symbolises the innocence nobility and purity seen by the upper crust. However, as the book progressed, the reader understands white foreshadows the ruthlessness, superficiality and emptiness of the wealth of the time, which can be transferred to current outcomes.

Which unveils the values of Jordan and Daisy as nothing more than the product of meretricious corruption of decadence. “[their] white girlhoods [were] together, beautiful[ly] white”. Denoting the gradual decay of social values, as white stains easily. As a result, white is used to cover the indecencies of characters, calling it naive purity.

Making clear the social intentions of the society of the time, which can be seen today. Regarding stained politics, especially in the US, whose the president is much like Tom Buchanan, it is called the white house after all.

Fitzgerald uses characterisation in to create dynamic characters, who are indicative of the time. Relieving the character’s true intentions allows the readers to understand the social context and the effect it has had on a contemporary audience. Fitzgerald effectively uses motifs and pathetic fallacy to create trepidation in which the character’s rash desires are highlighted, thus accentuating characters destructive choices and downfall.

Nick met with Gatsby and Wolfshiem for lunch “ blinking away the brightness of the day”. The sunshine in this chapter is a promise to Gatsby for a chance to restart his life. However, as seen in previous chapters, sunshine and bright days are merely illusions of falsehood and/or lack of trust. However at Gatsby’s funeral, it drizzles depicting the rain and the tragedy of the event. Foreshadowing the end of the era and optimism of the time. It is a motif to symbolise the tears and sorrow for everything “great” has happened. A faded glimpse of a dream of memories past.

Furthermore the heated tension between Jay, Tom and Daisy ”The relentless beating heat was beginning to confuse [the characters]’. ‘Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic,’. Fitzgerald successfully foreshadows the coming of tumultuous events to come in the near future. The short and hot environment suggests that the irritability of the character, forcing a point of potential conflicts. Portraying the loose nature of self preservations. The Great Gatsby very ingeniously viewed the social and romantic temptations of its characters.

The Great Gatsby is a fable about the trappings of Narcissism, a concept that modern society still longs to understand. The Great Gatsby is a mirror of our society encased in a spine and typed font. “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

If we don’t listen to grand narratives, cultures, values and societies will be lost in the unattainable dream. “So we beat on back ceaselessly to the past’, to learn from the past’. The Great Gatsby is the most relevant novel most deserving Grand Narrative of the 20th century.  

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