AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number2.  May 2022                             Pp. 189-195

Dystopian and Utopian Parallels in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Ishraq Bassam AL-Omoush

Department of English Language & Literature
The World Islamic Sciences and Education University
Amman, Jordan


This paper analyzes both the utopian and the dystopian aspects of American society in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s (1896-1940) The Great Gatsby (1925). It aims at depicting those aspects of the society through a careful examination of the settings, particularly East egg and the Valley of Ashes. The former represents the protagonist’s ideal reality in which he dreams of becoming famous, wealthy, and more satisfied. Yet, the climax and tragic ending of Gatsby reveal the dystopian aspects of East Egg society, such as chaos, prohibition, and social disintegration. Likewise, the valley of ashes is made out of ashes, and its gray color stands for emptiness and the moral decadence of its people. The social hierarchy of the American society, along with its expectations, demoralizes its people; the worldly desires of Gatsby ruin his life as well as the future he imagines in East Egg. Thus, a state of material well-being emerged but lacking in spiritual life or purpose. Throughout the novel, Gatsby’s life and shocking manners reflect those dystopian aspects of a post-war society in which wild parties, illegal drinking, and crimes prevail. Gatsby’s dream of becoming wealthy leaves him with a painful awareness of inferiority, isolation, and ultimately death.

Cite as:

AL-Omoush, I. B. (2022). Dystopian and Utopian Parallels in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby . Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (2) 189-195.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no2.14


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Dr. Ishraq Bassam Al-Omoush: is an assistant professor of English literature at the Department of English Language & Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at The World Islamic Sciences & Education University (WISE). Dr. Al-Omoush is the Head of the English Department, and her research interests include Literary Criticism, Modern Poetic Drama, Contemporary Poetry, Metaphysical Poetry, Elizabethan Drama, and Fiction. ORCiD ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8413-7682