Class Classes In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

How the Other Class Lives: Class Divisions within The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic, The Great Gatsby, takes a critical look at the excess and social upheaval of the Jazz Age through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Carraway. Carraway witnesses how even though the idealistic Jay Gatsby achieves the highly sought after concept known as the American Dream, he is still dismissed by the ‘old money’ society that lives in the opulent East Egg. In contrast to the East Egg, Carraway also observes the struggles of the working class that reside in the Valley of Ashes: where East Egg resident, Tom Buchanan’s mistress lives with her husband that owns a garage. Fitzgerald starkly contrasts the living environments of America’s upper and lower social classes through the symbolism of greenery, the qualities of the colors in his imagery, and the scenes in which the characters of the two classes mingle in order to comment critically on how the working class is unable achieve the growth needed for upward mobility in order to accomplish the American dream. The usage of greenery and plants in classic literature often stands as a metaphor for life or growth and is used in The Great Gatsby to show a type of economic growth. At the beginning of the novel, Carraway has just arrived from the Midwest, “a country of wide lawns and friendly trees”(3) and is adapting to living in a urban city where there is very little room for greenspace. However, Nick’s wealthy cousin and her

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