The Great Gatsby, written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, is considered a Modernist novel because it was written during the Modernism Era. The setting and characters of The Great Gatsby are very representative of this era. The characters reflect one another and can change their views and perspectives throughout The Great Gatsby , depending on the situation they find themselves in. The setting of The Great Gatsby is very important as well because it reflects the era as a whole and how people, such as Nick Carraway, perceive their surroundings.
The Modernism Era was very complicated and The Great Gatsby has many examples of this complication which will be explored throughout this essay. The characters that were written into The Great Gatsby represent the ideas and feelings that were prominent during the Modernism Era. Fitzgerald chose to write his novel with certain figures who would not only shape his story, but also embody typical traits from the typical mid-20 th century person. The first character chosen by Fitzgerald to help him tell The Great Gatsby was Nick Carraway; he represents the typical observer.
The second character selected by Fitzgerald was Jay Gatsby, who is a figure with many identities and a mysterious past which ties him to The Great Gatsby . The last main character that Fitzgerald included in The Great Gatsby was Daisy Buchanan. She represents another typical mid-20 th century woman, but she is also representative of the time period as a whole. In The Great Gatsby , Nick Carraway helps develop all three characters as well as giving them traits that are reflective of what life would have been like during the Modernism Era.
Nick Carraway is very representative of the Modernism Era because he embodies most of the feelings and opinions people had at this time. The first example for this is how Nick Carraway readily accepts his new surroundings and lifestyle. The beginning of The Great Gatsby states, “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”(3). In this quote from The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald is showing how people were accepting of change during the Modernist Era.
This can be seen because at the time Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, people were still coming from The World Wars, which changed their lives forever. People also continued to find themselves living away from home and not knowing their place within society as a whole. All these factors contributed to the fact that people during the Modernism Era had little choice but to accept everything that came their way. The second example of Nick Carraway’s Modernism is he readily accepts all the things that happen to him throughout The Great Gatsby.
The quote “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores”(39) is an example for this because it shows how Nick Carraway will accept anything people do. He does not pass any judgement on anyone until after they have done something wrong. This ties into The Great Gatsby because during the Modernism Era, more people were open-minded about new ideas or strange ideas that would come their way. The third reason why Nick Carraway was written into The Great Gatsby is that he represents the new, younger generation: The Lost Generation.
The quote “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments” shows this because this new generation was more open-minded and willing to try anything; they did not form any judgements until after the fact. The fourth reason why Nick Carraway was written into The Great Gatsby is that he embodies some of Fitzgerald’s own views and thoughts about society as a whole. The quote “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”(3) can be seen as a reflection of how Fitzgerald feels about the people who do not understand his work or what it means to him.
The quote “In my younger and more vulnerable years” is a form of self-pity because it shows how Fitzgerald feels about people who do not understand the novel he has written. The last reason why Nick Carraway was included in The Great Gatsby is that theory suggests that Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby with Nick Carraway as a reflection of himself, which makes his story one of personal growth and acceptance.
The quote “In my younger and more vulnerable years” can be seen as a testament to this because The Great Gatsby follows the main character through change from innocence to experience. The fact that Nick Carraway is able to accept all these changes shows how he has been changed by the events surrounding him, thus having grown from them. The next reason The Great Gatsby follows the journey of Nick Carraway is that The Great Gatsby shows how people gradually realize that their dream world has been stripped away and replaced with the harsh reality of the outside world.
The quote “In my younger and more vulnerable years” can be seen as a representation for this because The Great Gatsby shows how Nick Carraway realizes that he cannot go back to his old lifestyle no matter what happens, making him see that his naivety is gone forever. The first example of how Tom Buchanan represents the Modernism Era in The Great Gatsby is how he constantly changes throughout The Great Gatsby The evidence for this comes from how The Great Gatsby presents Tom Buchanan. The quote “I’d like him,” I answered, “if I ever met him” shows this because The Great Gatsby tells stories about how he lives his life.
The quote then continues to tell the reader about how The Great Gatsby is always changing who he is for other people, making it seem like he has no real personality of his own. The second example of how Tom Buchanan represents the Modernism Era in The Great Gatsby comes from how The Great Gatsby presents Tom Buchanan’s physicality and sexuality The evidence for this comes from the difference in presentation between Nick Carraway and The Great Gatsby. One example of this would be that when Nick Carraway describes The Great Gatsby, he usually does not go into much detail about his physical appearance or The Great Gatsby’s sexual interests.
The quote “He’s a regular tough underneath it all, and that appeals to me”(41) shows this because The Great Gatsby only reveals The Great Gatsby’s sexual interests when The Great Gatsby wants something from someone, which ties into how The Great Gatsby controls the people who are around him. The second example of how Tom Buchanan represents the Modernism Era in The Great Gatsby comes from how The Great Gatsby presents Tom Buchanan’s sexuality The evidence for this comes from what is shown between Nick Carraway and The Great Gatsby.