Gatsby’s Morality

Examining The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald as a window into the immorality of the 1920s.

The Great Gatsby, and the characters within, are compared to religious and non-religious scales of morality. The author uses quotations from the book, as well as from critical essays. Through his use of the eyes of T. J. Eckleburg, Fitzgerald suggests that, in the eyes of God, Judeo-Christian morality suffered during the 1920s.
Dante Alighieri, in The Divine Comedy, declares that God commands everywhere, and there he rules (Inferno, Canto One, lines127-129). In Dante’s world, reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s in The Great Gatsby, God is an ever-present being who is continuously presiding over the Earth. Dante’s ideas are evocative of the giant eyes of Doctor Eckleburg presiding over the Valley of Ashes in Fitzgerald’s novel. Like Fitzgerald, Dante defines some of those people unworthy of entering heaven as the murderers, gluttons, and traitors of society. These immoralities are analogous to depravities in the Judeo-Christian world.