Social Groups In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

The 1920’s were a time of change, with a boom in the economy leading to an overall lifestyle change for many Americans. The nation’s wealth doubled and most Americans were left with extra money to spend. During this time, liquor became very popular, but was quickly banned in 1919, which backfired as it became an underground operation controlled by bootleggers. Many Americans acquired their wealth during this time period and these individuals are known as “nouveau riche” or newly rich, and at this time there were many different social groups; a social group consists of individuals who share a common identity and similar characteristics such as wealth, power, and societal status. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the newly rich are portrayed as excessively materialistic, and they are always showing off their wealth in aim to impress. In the novel, those who are newly rich are bourgeois and pompous, which is different behaviour than those of other social classes, who are more refined and mature in terms of how they decide to spend their money and how they present themselves. Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby to show just how obsessed people are with materialistic possessions in the post-war era. A common occurrence in the novel is Gatsby’s extravagant parties, “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went… At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two

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