To what extent is class important in Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby?
One of the most important themes in the novel is the important of class. Fitzgerald makes it evident that the social classes are divided by the setting, the possessions thy have and how that certain individual interacts and behaves with other people. This is shown by Fitzgerald uses powerful adjectives and verbs to portray to the reader what that character is like. I am looking at the importance of class as this is the reason for the differences in the characters.
Talk about Gatsby, Tom Buchanan and George Wilson.
James Gatz, otherwise known as Gatsby, is depicted as someone who is very rich as he has purchased a gaudy mansion in the West Egg and he throws lavish …show more content…
Is Gatsby in the same class as Wilson? If not, is he closer to Wilson's class, or to Tom's? Where does Meyer Wolfsheim stand in all of this?
Does Gatsby love Daisy, or does he love the lifestyle she represents? Is she only his ticket to the upper classes? If so, does Gatsby realize this?
Class and worth are strong themes in the novel, and they are ultimately what keep Gatsby and Daisy apart. To Tom, Daisy is worth $350,000 in pearls (around $4.7 million in today’s money). To Gatsby, she’s worth a whole lot more than that, but he, too, expects on a very basic level that her affection can be bought. They sure don’t grow ‘em like Daisy Fay in the North Dakota of James Gatz’s youth. And so the economics of supply and demand mean that a woman like Daisy—with her fine looks and breeding and her family wealth—can command quite a stratospheric price indeed.
One of the major topics explored in The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth, specifically, how the newly minted millionaires of the 1920s differ from and relate to the old aristocracy of the country’s richest families. In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste. Gatsby, for example, lives in a monstrously ornate mansion, wears a pink suit, drives a Rolls-Royce,
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Moreover Gatsby’s charm and resilience are plausible traits that are introduced to his character which aids to greatly symbolize him as the “Great American dream.” As the Great Gatsby defines the distinct relationship of the aristocracy and the dominant wealth the audience is able to see the sociology of wealth by the East egg and west egg signified by the rich people that include Gatsby. One of the most major and memorable character so far, Gatsby of the wealthy and extravagant life symbolizes the extreme sophistication of the West egg. His wealth status can be seen because he owns a mansion that over dominants the West egg.
The desire for social pleasure was rampant in the roaring twenties and in The Great Gatsby. On the surface, Gatsby’s dream appears very materialistic. We’ve just talked about his fancy parties and his flash car. But if Gatsby’s dream was truly material, would he chase after Daisy? If his aim was purely material, he wouldn’t have been such a desperate romantic figure. We’re selling him a bit short here by accusing him of just wanting money. He is unsatisfied with his wealth, and pursues something greater – ‘true love’. Gatsby’s idea of ‘success’ was Daisy. Granted, you and I will agree that Gatsby could have done so much better. In fact, what does Daisy represent? Daisy has a symbolic name, and the way she gleams “in the sunlight” (pg 160) is merely a white façade covering her superficiality. The truth is, she and Tom are “careless people”, they “smash up things…and retreat into their money and carelessness…let other people clean up the mess they’d made” (pg 191). You may think Gatsby’s corrupt. However, clearly Daisy and Tom are the corrupt ones; they think they can do anything and everything, with the social influence and wealth they gained at birth. Daisy exploited Gatsby, his naive desire of “the golden girl” (pg 128), the ‘girl of his dreams’ – or so he believed. Fitzgerald also wanted a girl out of his league; Ginevra (Erbentraut, 2013). Very much like Daisy, Ginevra couldn’t be with Fitzgerald because of she was rich and cool and he
Throughout the novel The Great Gatsby, there is a constant theme present: social class. Fitzgerald makes a connection between the theme of social class, and the settings in the novel for example The Valley of Ashes which is described as a “desolate area of land” (p.21) and a “solemn dumping ground” (p.21) which is where the poor people live. The Valley of Ashes is situated between West Egg and New York, West Egg being the place where the aspiring classes are situated, which is the “less fashionable of the two” (p.8), this is where Gatsby lives. West Egg is the place of ‘new money’, Fitzgerald shows this by the idea of the main character Jay Gatsby, rumoured to be selling illegal alcohol (prohibition) which means he is quickly making vast
Class structure in the 1920s was synonymous to prejudice. The 1920s was known as a period of wild excess and great parties with excitement arising from the ashes of the wars in America’s history. It was a period in history where rapid materialism and narcissistic ideals grew uncontrollably, and it was the days where Jay Gatsby, illegally, rose to success. Having social classes was the same as segregation, except it was through economic standings, the two both instil injustice within social standards. Class structure was used to describe the difference between the new money and old money. The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, written during the 1920s, emphasizes the division between the social classes and the reasons behind why they
In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts the dichotomy of the established upper class of the East and the nouveau riche from the Midwest with the two areas of East Egg and West Egg. The novel's characters were obsessed by class and privilege. One reason Tom and Daisy would be considered part of the wealthy class would be because of his parents. Tom and “his family were enormously wealthy” (6). Tom came from a wealthy, established family, and was a much-feared football player while at Yale. The wealthy class includes those high society families who have been rich for generations. These extremely wealthy people live off the income from their inherited riches. Another reason Tom and Daisy would be considered an example of the
Through a Marxist lens, Gatsby may be in love with Daisy because she is a representation of the American Dream as a woman. He becomes aware that to obtain her love, and perhaps her parentals approval, he must have a fortune bigger than he can imagine. Hence, it is why he throws lavish parties on Saturday to impress
In the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald introduces to reader a character shrouded in legends and mystery. A man that seemed to have come into a great deal of money – that’s origins are debated constantly by the people whom enjoy his hospitality. Gatsby is, at his core, a poor boy that wanted to be rich, and spurred on by his love for Daisy accumulated such wealth and sophistication in an attempt to win her back.
Gatsby is depicted as a pleasant gentleman even though he does turn to bootlegging as a resource for money. He does all of this only to be reunited with the one woman he falls in love with, Daisy. In the novel it is stressed that Gatsby and Daisy spent countless amounts of time together in their youth which elucidates why Gatsby tries so hard trying to refabricate those moments. He feels as if that is what will make him content. He wants to be with her because he knows of no one better and he is bound to her because of what they used to have. Gatsby’s love for Daisy is expressed in various chapters of the novel: “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes” (90). This quote depicts how Gatsby is enthralled with Daisy and he enjoys that she is impressed with his possessions because he becomes rich for her. The fact that she loves his money and what he gets with it makes him believe she loves him as well as his belongings. Another occasion in which Gatsby is seen as a pleasant person is when he watches Daisy from a distance to make sure everything is alright after Myrtle’s death transpired. The energy he puts into making sure she is safe shows how much he cares and how sympathetic he is as a person. Another minor example of Gatsby’s kindness is when he sends a new evening gown to a
Fitzgerald uses the setting of New York to emphasize the different social classes in the 1920s. By doing so, the reader understands the various social classes that existed during this time. For example, Gatsby, Nick, Tom, and Daisy existed within the upper-class. On the other hand, Myrtle and Wilson are in the lower-class of society. During the 1920s, especially in large cities such as New York, various social classes existed in a relatively small area.
Although Gatsby has dedicated his whole life to transforming himself into a different man and becoming part of the upper class, he is still not on the same level as Daisy and Tom. Gatsby knows how hard he has worked to earn everything that he has gotten because he knows what it is like to be poor and not have a lot. In contrast, Daisy and Tom are both born into rich families and do not know the feeling of earning what they deserve because they have always had the privilege of getting what they want. They do not care about any other peoples’ feelings because they believe that their social status puts them above others. This is evident in the way that Daisy treats Gatsby because she never considered his feelings when she led him on, then crushed
In the story “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is portrayed as a man of high class with lots of money, living in a corrupt time in America’s history. “The Great Gatsby” takes place in 1918 right after World War I, a war in which Gatsby had gone off to fight in. The story is narrated by Nick Carraway from a first person point of view, where Nick tells us about his experiences with a “racketeer” farmer boy, named Jay Gatsby. Gatsby doesn’t appear in the story until chapter three and until then Gatsby, to the reader, is simply a mysterious wealthy man who throws wild house parties. Very little is learned about Gatsby in the first chapter, except for the fact that he lives in “West Egg” and not “East Egg.” “West Egg” is
The first important situation that Fitzgerald focuses on is the class war in American society. In “The Great Gatsby,” he portrays the demarcation of “Old Money” and “New Money” through Daisy’s perspective on “New Money” lifestyle. In the novel, Fitzgerald portrays the protagonist as “New Money” and antagonist as “Old Money.” When James Gatsby, protagonist, invites his lover Daisy, antagonist, to his party in the West Egg, he expected her to be impress. However, the reality failed to fulfill the expectation for Daisy who comes from East Egg. Fitzgerald states, “But the rest offended her-and inarguably, because it wasn't a gesture but an emotion. She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented 'place' that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island
As the novel begins, it is unclear whether Gatsby is infatuated with Daisy or if he is just in love with the idea of love, but as it progresses it is made evident that Daisy is merely a symbol of wealth to Gatsby. Nevertheless, Gatsby is willing to go the distance by purchasing a house near that of the Buchanans as shown by the following quote: “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be right across the bay” (Fitzgerald 77). Gatsby’s hunger for wealth and power only cloud his judgement when thinking about Daisy. Through Daisy, he would be guaranteed a legitimate place in a high social class. Likewise, he saw in Daisy what he had always envisioned for himself, and no matter how much wealth Gatsby is able to acquire, Daisy will never consider going back to him because she is perfectly content in her small, aristocratic world.
Social Class Difference in ‘The Great Gatsby’ The novel, The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, gives the reader the impact of the social class difference, which their lives and thoughts are different from each other. While reading the novel, reader gets to have endless questions that leads to think what is to be living perfect and better than others in the book. Most of the readers get impressed and learn how to live, how the upper class uses money, petty death overcome hunger and fake things and so much more. The title of the novel states that it is not just Gatsby, it’s the “Great” Gatsby.
In The Great Gatsby, the setting plays a prominent role in illustrating the wealth of the characters. The setting is the 1920’s during the Jazz Age, in New York City and Long Island and within the first few pages, the main characters and their opulent residences are introduced. The readers are informed of Gatsby’s mansion in the “West Egg,” which includes "forty acres of land and garden and a marble swimming pool, all for eighty dollars a month,” and similarly is Tom and Daisy’s residence described by Nick as “the white palaces of fashionable East Egg” (Fitzgerald 5). It is their setting and wealth that enables them to enjoy a carefree lifestyle that includes