The Great Gatsby is a story about moral decadence and the decline of the American Dream, smashed by the fast life that prevailed during the Roaring Twenties and the superfluous values, shallowness and pomposity that characterized that infamous period in the American History.
Jay Gatsby foolishly feels not only the urged to embrace the lifestyle, or at the least mimic it that many of the new rich enjoyed in the East Coast during the “Jazz Age”, but also the need to distastefully display the power and money he had rapidly and unscrupulously come to acquire. The lifestyle he indulges in, far from austere; the ostentatious house he inhabits where every week he hosts exuberant, obscene parties where excess reigns are indices to the lack of refinement Buchanan and even Nick himself attribute to Gatsby.
There is a constant feeling or sense of immorality throughout the book, embodied by Gatsby that serves as a great contrast between the good old West and the new wicked East. To Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan represents nothing more than his own thirst for prosperity which he is willing to attain at any cost; i.e., by crushing values such as integrity and honesty upon which a nearly bygone American morale is based.
Carraway, the narrator, sees himself as the proud owner of a completely open, impartial mind. One might be inclined to believe that he indeed relates the story with a certain amount of objectivity, given his tendency to observe and stand by without interfering with the course of events the story takes.
Although the audience quickly learns that Nick, almost like Dr. Eckleburg, looks down at everyone and everything from his privileged, untarnished spot at the pulpit. Towards the end of the book, however, given his undeniable involvement with Gatsby, Nick ends up covering up and denying Gatsby’s corrupt past. Nick is no longer objective, admitting so himself, he has a certain weakness for Gatsby and therefore attempts to preserve the memory of his defunct friend unblemished, by stating that Gatsby exemplified a wonderful emblem of Americanism and the unparalleled hope that goes with it.