『 위대한 개츠비 』에 나타난 황무지로서의 현대사회에 대한 인식 연구


Fitzgerald’s Perception of Modern Society as a Wasteland in The Great Gatsby


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In The Waste Land T. S. Eliot describes the devastation of the Western civilization after World War I and the resulting spiritual death. Eliot thinks that modern people are alive physically but dead spiritually in the sense that having lost their faith in Christianity and the traditional values, they live their lives aimlessly. In writing the poem, Eliot used Fisher King’s story and the Grail Legend as a basic framework. Therefore, in The Waste Land a quester named Tiresias seeks for the Grail to revive the devastated modern society. Eliot had great influence on so many writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald. Therefore, it is not difficult to find the symbol and theme central to Eliot’s The Waste Land in The Great Gatsby. For example, a valley of ashes, the town covered with gray ashes, is the dusty and barren image of modern society. In this way, it becomes the replica of Eliot’s wasteland. Eliot’s theme of the spiritual death and the revival is revealed in the novel through the characters. Tom, Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan are dead spiritually in the sense that they feel inner emptiness and then they seek pleasure in order to fill their inner emptiness. They also show the deterioration of social values and the resulting emphasis on materialism after World War I. Gatsby is described like a quester. He pursues his noble vision throughout his life, which is manifested in his love of Daisy. Nick finds in his vision his faith that his love of Daisy can transform such a wasteland-like society into a fresh and green land. However, Daisy, rather than brings life, brings death. She hits Myrtle with Gatsby’s car, and arouses Tom’s jealousy to make him kill Gatsby. At last, Gatsby is killed in his swimming pool waiting for Daisy’s call. His death brings rain to the scorched land of Long Island, but it does not bring resurrection to modern society.


I. 들어가면서
 II. 죽은 영혼들의 땅, 현대사회
 III. 부유하는 먼지와 재의 계곡
 IV. 엘 그레코(El Greco)  그림 속의 한 장면
 V. 성배를 탐색하는 기사로서의 개츠비
 VI. 나오면서


  • 이경화 Kyeong-Hwa Lee. 단국대학교


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