Myrtle Wilson, a relatively minor character, belongs to the lower classes, expresses a desire to upward social mobility, but is largely prevented from doing so due to her gender. She uses love to acquire wealth and has an extramarital affair with Tom. She is not happy with her lower social status and her husband George Wilson, a representative of the lower classes and a simple man with no grand ambitions, states in the novel: “The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in and never even told me about it,” (Fitzgerald 28). Myrtle allows us to look at her accumulation of things, such as the down-town apartment which was “… crowded to the doors with a set of tapestried furniture entirely too large for it, so that to move about was to stumble continuously over scenes of ladies swinging in the gardens of Versailles” (Lindberg 16; Fitzgerald 35). Social class is a key factor for Gatsby in pursuit of Daisy’s love. He understands, however, that as “a penniless young man without a past” (Fitzgerald 118) he will not be able to marry Daisy. As Walter Michaels argues, ‘’The real problem is that he is ‘without a past’ and to get Daisy he must get a past. Thus Jimmy Gatz’s efforts to improve himself, which begins in the Franklin-like scheduling of his present intended to produce the perfected Gatsby of his future (‘study electricity, etc.’), must themselves be transformed into efforts to
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Throughout the classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the rich and the poor are constantly juxtaposed against each other. The rich as ployed as being colorful and full of detail, while the poor is described as being "ashes" in a "desolate" landscape. This juxtaposition of the rich and poor makes it clear to the reader that Fitzgerald wanted the distinction to be blunt. Fitzgerald adds this distinction because he wants the reader to understand that the rich and the poor lead completely different lives. The rich are described in elaborate colors and detail because the they live lavish lifestyles. The rich own extravagant mansions, expensive cars and hydroplanes, and lead exciting lifestyles. On the contrary, the poor are described in
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
The desire to move from rags to riches lures Myrtle into a troubling but sumptuous affair. Myrtle believed that when she married George Wilson it was entirely beneath her. While at a party intoxicated Myrtle tells a close friend, “...when I married him I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in,” (Fitzgerald 35). This shows how greedy and materialistic Myrtle is. She fantasized about being rich and famous, which is why
The 1920s, also known as the Roaring Twenties, was an age of dramatic changes in societal expectations. It was a time of economic progress for Americans, which meant many people from the lower class had the opportunity to earn enough money and improve their position in society. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby, the protagonist in the novel, came from the lower class and thought that his new wealth could win over Daisy Buchanan, who originally came from the higher class. Fitzgerald symbolizes Daisy as Gatsby’s American Dream, or his success and prosperity. This eventually created conflict between the higher and lower class. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates the difficulty of upward social mobility due to the rigid class structure, which ultimately resulted in the realization that the American Dream was unattainable to those of the lower class.
Social classes are truly like a ladder, but that final step is by far the most difficult. Trying to become the most powerful, and successful person around it an almost impossible task, which very few will ever achieve. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby spends his entire life attempting to climb the social ladder, in order to win back his young love, Daisy Buchanan. The novel makes a naturalism argument stating that no matter how hard you try, and how much you think you’ve achieved in your life, you will most likely never be able to rise from a lower social class.
Myrtle Wilson is obsessed with leaving her poor life behind her by being with Tom but unlike Gatsby, her attempts are fruitless. She attempts to make herself seem an upper class person like when she changed her dress before the party in chapter two. She believes her husband is beneath her and talks of all low statuses as if she isn’t one of them. "I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. "These people! You have to keep after them all the time." (42)
Myrtle Wilson is the second major character in The Great Gatsby. She is about 30 years old and is “faintly stout but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some woman can” (The Great Gatsby: Character). Myrtle is married to George Wilson, also a mistress to Tom Buchanan. She is not happy with her marriage nor her lifestyle. Myrtle is part of the lower class of society making her poor. With them being poor they end up living in their car garage. George seemed like a gentleman and that is why Myrtle married him, but turns out that he wasn’t. Tom is part the upper class of society which attracts Myrtle to him. They spend a lot of time in the city together. She has an excuse to tell George that she is visiting her sister. George is getting a suspicion that Myrtle is up to no good, and locks her up in a closet. Myrtle being upset, notices a yellow car thinking it was Tom because she noticed him driving it earlier, she runs to the car to get away from George
Myrtle Wilson is a materialistic woman who wants the luxurious life of the upper class. “-when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in-.” Myrtle’s condescending comments about her husband’s attire reveals her disgust for the frugality that George displays. Although she is not wealthy, she puts
Throughout history people have continuously felt the need to validate themselves by the number in their bank account or their status in society. Americans are constantly concerned with what other people think about them. They want to make sure they look the part which means having certain things and maintaining a lifestyle that proclaims their family’s social status. Whether it is adhering to high social standards or splurging on luxurious goods, people were willing to do whatever it took to maintain a high social standing. From 1914 to 1945, American Literature portrayed that Americans’ pursuit of wealth and social status was not only unfulfilling, but also became a barrier that separated people.
In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s use of exposition to illustrate the superficiality and flaws within Gatsby and Daisy conveys his disapproval with classism, and the letter to his daughter extends his hope for societal reform. When Gatsby insists that Daisy leave Tom to marry him, Daisy firmly postulates, “Rich girls don’t marry poor boys” (Coppola). Fitzgerald elucidates the social stratification in West Egg through Daisy’s love for materialistic items and her reluctance to marry Gatsby. Daisy is a token of the social trend to gain material and represents the twentieth century misconception
Money is essential for survival; it can bring happiness, despair, or corruption. It rules our daily lives, is preferred in large amounts, and separates us into different social classes. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is a perfect example of this since the class structure within the novel, portrays how money or the need for it can cause corruption in all the different social classes. This is shown through the three distinct classes: old money represented by the Buchanan’s and their self-centered, racist nature, new money represented by Gatsby and his mysterious, illegal ways, and a class that can be called no money represented by the Wilson’s and their attempts at
Fitzgerald, in his sarcastic novel The Great Gatsby, frequently shows how racism and classism seriously influence the possibilities of achieving American dreams in obscure methods. The novel details Gatsby’s achievements and dream including Daisy, and makes comparison with other people in different races and classes indirectly but visibly. The fact that, though Gatsby is much wealthier than those in East Egg, he has never achieved the American dream, never owned Daisy truly and never acquired respect, but rumours, due he isn’t born in high class and makes money through bootleg. To some extent, the miserable end of Gatsby is the reflection of the disparity of classism. Gatsby’s mansion reminds people of the feasibility of making the American dream come true. However, his unexpected death that is not caught by police, but killed by Wilson, a white man in mid class, proves that it is related to races and classes closely. Fitzgerald takes us into the suffering of Gatsby to show us that the American dream is like a shell company, which makes everyone look forward to their future with great expectations, but only certain people can truly reach it because people are not standing on the same starting line.
Myrtle desires wealth and luxuries, and as a result she has an affair with Tom, who gives her anything she yearns for. Myrtle despises her lifestyle with her husband, George Wilson, due to the lower-class living and dirty, physical labor. She explains how, “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman … I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald, 34). Myrtle planned to marry a rich man, so in the future he could support her children and herself, and they would be members of
“I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth” (2). So speaks Nick in the beginning of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. This exemplifies how people born into different social classes are not born with the same character and ethics. Since people from different classes think so differently, this may cause conflicts between them and might prevent them from having substantial relationships with each other.
The Roaring Twenties, or the Jazz Age, was a period characterized by post-war euphoria, prosperity, profligacy, and cultural dynamism. There were significant changes in lifestyle and culture in the 1920s; many found opportunities to rise to affluence, which resulted in groups of newly rich people, such as the hero of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby. Set in this booming era, the novel portrays the lavish and reckless lifestyle of the wealthy and elite. With the aristocratic upper class in the East Egg and the nouveau riche in the West Egg, people are divided into distinct social classes. Contrasting the two groups’ conflicting values, Fitzgerald reveals the ugliness and moral decay beneath