“The life of Daisy and Tom and their friends is made the image of a life exquisitely graceful on the surface, with a moral defect at its heart” – Arthur Mizener
To what extent would you agree with Arthur Mizener’s view about the society depicted in this novel?
Arthur Mizener’s statement about the society shown in the Great Gatsby is extremely accurate to the world that F Scott Fitzgerald portrayed. The novel is set in the high society world of 1920’s New York; in this post war “Jazz Era” the desire to conform to society’s rules was pushed aside in exchange for a rebellious, unconventional way of living and thinking. Society’s young indulged themselves in parties and eccentric behaviour in comparison to their parents in order to farther themselves from them and the Word War that preceded this period and causes so much social destruction. Fitzgerald observed the moral collapse of the higher society people in the Jazz era; and reflects this into his characters in the Great Gatsby. M Bradbury describes The Great Gatsby as “the story of a gross materialistic, careless society of course wealth on top of a sterile world”.
Fitzgerald uses the iconic figure of Dr T.J Eckelburg, as a representation of a discarded Godly figure; watching over the group with judging eyes, and seeming almost disappointed at the neglected morals of the society. It is made clear through the relationships of the characters in Fitzgerald’s inner circle of socialites that there is a definite tendency to dismiss any problems or imperfections in their lives in order to maintain the image of a glamorous faultless existence of wealth. They are shown to use their money frivolously; to forget the past and take advantage of new found wealth and ease of life; Daisy’s voice was “full of money”. In this new effortless way of life, image was fundamental. Tom and Daisy are an ideal example of this existence of keeping up appearances. Although they are both deeply unhappy within their marriage and are...