The Great Gatsby is a novel written by the famous writer F. Scott. Fitzgerald in the 1920’s， which is about disillusionment of American Dream, and it is still a piece of language endowed with deep connotations and full of metaphors and mottoes. This paper analyzes Gatsby’s tragedy by examining the essence of Gatsby’s dream, the potential destructiveness in Gatsby’s characters and the social-historical backgrounds leading to Gatsby’s destruction. Fitzgerald once summarized people’s characters at that time as “all Gods have died, all the wars have been over, and all the faiths have faded away.”(Fitzgerald, 1991: 253) American people living in Jazz Age looked down on the traditional faiths and betrayed moralities and customs that their ancestors used to abide by. At the end of the novel, Gatsby’s lonely funeral ceremony and people’s indifference completely reflected humanities coolness and ugliness in the society of U.S.A in 1920’s. At the very beginning, Gatsby was destined to be isolated helpless and to fail in the end in this society.
Gatsby; the American dream; tragedy; personification
《了不起的盖茨比》是20 世纪20 年代美国着名作家菲茨杰拉德的一部反映美国梦破灭的小说,也是一则被赋予了深刻含义,充满譬喻和警句的语言。本文从盖茨比之梦的实质、盖茨比性格中的不足以及社会历史原因等多方面探讨了导致盖茨比梦毁人亡这一悲剧必然因素。 菲茨杰拉德曾这样总结那个时代的特点：一切神明都统统死光，所有战争都已经统统打完，所有信念都已经统统完蛋。爵士乐时代的人蔑视一切传统的价值观念，反叛老一辈人所遵从的道德风范。 小说结尾，作者更是以人们的冷漠和盖茨比葬礼的冷冷清清彻底反映了20 世纪20 年代美国社会人性的冷酷与丑恶。在这样的社会，盖茨比从一开始就注定是孤立无助，注定是要失败的。
盖茨比; 美国梦; 悲剧; 化身
Scott. Fitzgerald is a prominent novelist in the American literature, owned the title of the spokesman of the Jazz Age and the laurel of poet. From the contents and thoughts, the creative traits, his book the Great Gatsby is a real masterpiece of Fitzgerald, which made him get success in writing. As soon as it was published publicly in 1925, the Great Gatsby gained many critics’ affirmation and praise, becoming as one of the most excellent works in the 20th century. “The famous poet and critic Aerate said that the Great Gatsby took a great progress in American novels since Henry James.”(Donaldson, 1984: 283) In this novel, with a brief and serious style, the author vividly described a tragedy caused by American Dream, and successfully molded a suffered figure Gatsby. He was the author’s favorite character, in that they had many things in common such as many experiences and spiritual virtues that are different from the comprehension and chase to American life of common people. Gatsby owned marvelous genius, incomparable resolute romantic volition to his dream as well as his loyalty to his ideal, which won high praise of the author. The essay, on one hand, gives deep sympathy to Gatsby about his tragedy, on the other hand, it indicates that it is vain and dangerous to seek American Dream at that time.
The paper is analyzing the inevitability of the hero Gatsby’s tragedy by examining the essence of Gatsby’s dream, the potential destructiveness in Gatsby’s characters and social-backgrounds that lead to Gatsby’s destruction.
I. Description of Gatsby’s Dream
A. Origin of Gatsby’s Dream
Gatsby’s dream originated from the American dream, and the so-called “American Dream”, in American society, especially in the period of exploiting the New Continent, formed and developed a rather commonly attracting ideal. It has long history dating from the period of European emigrants exploiting the New Continent, and this dream owns tremendous enough connotations of American desire and hope to spirits and materials. Consequently, many people defined it as the synthesis of Wealthy Dream, Transcendent Dream and Love Dream. Benjamin Franklin, the first and well-known embodiment and advocate of American Dream in the world, edified and encouraged people how to enrich their families and to fulfill American Dream by their struggle, especial in his Autobiography. From the birth of it to 1920s, American Dream of owing the success in materials to the individual virtues and struggles, was always publicized by the people as powerful as possible, and then without doubtness it became the ideal which average American people tried their best to struggle for day by day, and the fundental spiritual strength which prompted American Capitalism prosperity and maintained capitalism-social system generation by generation. Gatsby’s American Dream originated from his childhood:
“Then he returned the wallet and pulled from his pocket a ragged old copy of a book called Hopolong Cassidy “look here, this is a book he had when he was a boy. It just shows you.