Compare and contrast the extent to which both novels comment and criticise on the societies which they are set in. We are introduced to both novels in the 1920s elite society where both authors; Waugh and Fitzgerald are from an upper class society. Fitzgerald cultivates the character Jay Gatsby who we perceive purely from Nick who is an onlooker throughout the novella. Readers interpret Gatsby’s social structure as a triangle and we learn to commiserate him whereas Waugh invents the character Paul Pennyfeather who is a naïve, passive character and is in the structure of a circle. The one factor that is apparent throughout the novels is that society determines their social structure.
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‘Factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy’ Gatsby’s house is evidence to the upper class fetishes to grand belongings in order to show their wealth. A Marxist critic might view this as those who are on the top of the social ladder cease to see those at the bottom and become blinded by wealth. Fitzgerald is criticising society in the sense that the elite are solely dependant on their money despite them being miserable and this could refer to the saying ‘money doesn’t by happiness’ which is very true to such cases as Gatsby’s. Nicks statement is ironic since Gatsby’s name is actually Jimmy and this image which is crafted by the author is supposedly ‘perfect’ throughout the novel yet it slowly deteriorates much like the people in society who if are closely analysed, their flaws become much more observant and this is because they have their status to shadow their imperfection unlike those of working class. ‘I was responsible, no one else was interested’ a Marxist may interpret this as Gatsby is not truly privileged so he does not succeed in getting to the top and this is why his social structure is a triangle since no matter how much he alters himself, he was not born to that society. Fitzgerald could be criticising society as people do not question the structure of society and rise against it,
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The emerging inequitable class systems and antagonisms of the nineteen twenties saw the traditional order and moral values challenged, as well as the creation of great wealth for few and poverty for many. The Great Gatsby, written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, explores the causes and effects of the unbalanced class structures. Fitzgerald outlines the idea that the desire to accumulate wealth and status is a common ambition amongst the lower classes; when that desire is reached, the traditional upper class is challenged by the emerging newly wealthy, which finally leads to destructive consequences. By creating rigid class structures, traditional upper class, new wealth, and the poor in The Great Gatsby, it is
In the eye opening novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are many arguments based on society that the author was trying to make through his use of characterization. The dark novel is about love, expectations, disappointments, false hopes, and an overall look on what the narrator, Nick Carraway, experiences in the summer of 1922, spent in the town of West Egg. There were various amounts of arguments about society that were displayed by Fitzgerald throughout many different characters based upon their lifestyles and personality. However, Search for Perfection and Illusion vs. Reality are the two most important arguments about society that Fitzgerald made throughout the characterization of Jay Gatsby.
Without using depth of thought, The Great Gatsby is essentially a love story of the impossible forbidden desire between a woman and a man. The primary theme of the novel, however, shows off a much larger, less romantic scope of the novel. Though most of its primary plot takes place over simply a few short months through 1922’s summer, and is set in a small area in relative proximity to Long Island, New York, The Great Gatsby is a a view on the 1920’s in America, and uses a lot of varied symbolism with it, in particular the loss and dismemberment of the American dream in an era literally named after the amount of wealth and industry it produced in material excess. Fitzgerald is able to showcase the 1920s as an era of dying social and moral values, evidenced in its overwhelming pessimism, desire, and unfulfilling pursuit of pleasure. The carelessness of the parties and celebrations that led to wild jazz music, exemplified in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night, eventually was created, in the corruption of the American dream, as the rampant desire for wealth and pleasure surpassed more worthwhile ideals.
Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is set in America of the 1920’s, a predominantly materialistic society revolving around wealth and status above all else. Fitzgerald depicts this obsession with money and luxury through complicated relationships full of trouble, infidelity and sorrow. The relationships Fitzgerald portrays all symbolize the materialism and hedonism of the age; each relationship is doomed to a certain extent based on the social class of each character.
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
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,
In the period of the 1920’s, there was a certain status of wealth that was difficult to achieve. There were two societal classes consisting of those with wealth from prior generations, and those who worked to earn it themselves. Tom, Daisy, and Nick, who represented the old money society did not have to work hard, unlike Gatsby which he represented the new money and they had to work to earn money. People like Gatsby, who gained their wealth on their own often fought for the approval from the upper class who inherited their wealth. Rather than having new money and old money, people who tried achieving the American Dream and ended up in failure usually they end up like George and Myrtle Wilson In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the notion that social norms in the upper class depict the idea that being apart of it was impossible unless they were born in it was expressed through Daisy’s rejection of Gatsby because of the corrupt way in which he gained his wealth, making his American Dream unattainable.
The novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is set in the 1920s America, New York - a class society of money -, depicts a society which exists in a state of moral confusion and chaos, through the eyes of the narrator; Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald condemns the character’s tendencies in the novel to become greedy and materialistic in order to be successful, displayed throughout the chaos that arises as a result of the repercussion of these actions. This chaos continues to grow through the unfaithful marriages and illegal practices that exists extensively throughout the novel. Furthermore, Fitzgerald explores the prejudice discrimination between the newly rich and those with “old money”. Through all of this we come to see that during the “roaring 20s” was one of moral disorder and mayhem.
Gatsby’s aspirations reflect the time period. The “Roaring Twenties”, as it is called, was a period of prosperity, and the Americans were obsessed with acquiring wealth, and thought that “those who have wealth should be splendid, happy people”
After a time of prosperity, the roaring 1920’s became a decade of social decay and declining moral values. The forces this erosion of ethics can be explained by a variety of theories. However, F. Scott Fitzgerald paints a convincing portrait of waning social virtue in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald portrays the nefarious effects of materialism created by the wealth-driven culture of the time. This was an era where societal values made wealth and material possessions a defining element of one’s character. The implications of the wealthy mindset and its effects on humanity are at the source of the conflict in The Great Gatsby, offering a glimpse into the despair of the 20’s. During a time
The social hierarchy is influenced by the amount of money one owns which determines whether one can attain their dream. By creating apparent social classes within ‘The Great Gatsby’ – old money, new money and no money, Fitzgerald strongly suggests that American society is intensely stigmatised. Daisy, Tom and Jordan represent the elite social class of society where despite their problems and failures they are always protected and immune by their wealth. Tom refers to Gatsby as ‘Mr Nobody from nowhere” and a “common swindler who would have to steal the ring he put on her finger” as he boasts about his hereditary wealth compared to the other distinct elite group of society who acquire their wealth through business deals, which are sometimes corrupt. Although Fitzgerald mainly attacks the rich, by making them look judgemental, superior and selfish, evidently the lower class of society are vulnerable within American society. This is shown where so many, like Myrtle,
But he firmly decides that Gatsby should not attend the great party of the madam. Willing to attend, Gatsby even express his eagerness of “follow you in my car”. However, when Gatsby is ready and comes out, those three people have already “trotted quickly down the drive disappearing under the August foliage”. What a great satire it is. Fitzgerald is really a great writer. Under his pen, Gatsby’s eagerness of becoming a member of the upper class and the upper class’s refusing attitude has been vividly presented. Judging from the attitude of the upper class, Gatsby could never have the opportunity to enter this class. No matter how hard Gatsby tries, in the essence, he is still a nobody from the lower class. As a result, Gatsby’s “wealth dream” must inevitably been destroyed.
The character Gatsby can be understood at a higher level with the help of Marxist ideas because he is a representative of the lower class that understands the difference in classes and the superiority of the higher class. Moreover, he is forced to gain entrance to the higher class because of this segregation. Firstly, Fitzgerald demonstrates the idea of the separation between the classes best through Gatsby. He is someone who has been a part of both the lower and the higher class in different periods of his
The Great Gatsby presents different social groups to embody and transmit the idea that each class has it’s own problems to prevail over and unhappiness transcends over all the social classes. The problems in each group, despite the social stratification, reveal the instability of the world they live in. The three classes are old money, new money, and no money in which all three believe their own rules of survival in society and enforce boundaries between social classes. Fitzgerald uses the similarities between the poor and the rich to reinforce his opinion and his characterization of the upper class.