The Great Gatsby Sample Answer & Notes: Idealism and Corruption

The following question came up on the 2015 Higher Level paper:

“It is possible to be both attracted to the idealism and repelled by the corruption evident in The Great Gatsby.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view? Support your answer with reference to the novel. 

The marking scheme directs examiners to give marks for discussions on the American Dream, decaying moral integrity, the role of social status, attitudes to wealth and the romantic relationships examined in the novel.

The Great Gatsby Sample Answer & Notes: Idealism and Corruption

"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted 
and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life"

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic piece presents a conflicted view of his characters and their actions. Nothing is quite black and white in The Great Gatsby... At least, not by the time you finish the book. The lives and views of his characters are complex, regardless of their social standing. Fitzgerald doesn’t attempt to oversimplify it for the reader. His multidimensional layered approach is one of the things that makes this novel live on. Therefore, I fully agree that the narrative provokes strong feelings, both admiration and repulsion, as the author explores the characters’ high idealism and ruthless corruption.

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The Great Gatsby: Intimate and Complex Friendship

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