In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the growth of urbanization and the emergence of the “American Dream” in 20th-century America. This period led to a surge of well-to-do Americans, creating a new social class, mainly in the East, with Long Island being the most popular area, divided into West (new money) and East (old money) Eggs.
Nick Carraway, one of the novel’s central characters, was brought up in the Middle West, which was a place implicitly dedicated to well-to-do small business owners and their families. Thus, Nick’s life had a set pattern established by his family. However, the impact of capitalism and the American dream began to grow, making Nick feel suffocated and limited, preventing him from fulfilling his potential.
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In a moment of realization, Nick understood that “the Middle West now seemed like a ragged edge of the universe.” He felt dissatisfied with his life and decided to move to the East to learn about the bond business. This decision marks the beginning of Nick’s transformation and his journey of self-discovery in the novel.
Fitzgerald’s description of Nick’s journey from the Middle West to the East depicts the shift from traditional values to modernity in American society. Nick’s character represents the desire for personal growth, which is achieved by breaking free from the limitations of a traditional life and seeking new opportunities in the rapidly growing modern world.
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