Gross, Andrew S. (2017):
"F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)." Handbook of the American Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Eds. Müller, Timo. Berlin: DeGruyter. 162-176. Handbooks of English and American Studies; 4.
Article in Anthology

The Great Gatsby became central to American literary history only after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s death in 1940. Many of the author’s contemporaries saw the novel as a celebration of the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. Midcentury scholars, however, began to point out that Gatsby’s materialism is actually idealistic, and that his accumulation of wealth to win back his lost love Daisy is an allegory of the American Dream. The chapter positions itself in this line of criticism by describing Gatsby as a tragic hero whose failure calls into question the myths of self-invention and success. The novel’s elegiac tone, focalized through the narrative perspective of Nick Carraway, places it in a tradition of Anglo-American modernism that addresses social change by mourning the loss of traditional cultural values.