Many novels are written as a means of scrutinising the details and flaws of a specific society. The author’s purpose is to use the novel as a lens through which they can offer their own critical perception. The highly praised novel The Great Gatsby provides such a view into 1920s America, an era which was often described as the “Jazz Age” or the “Roaring 20s,” mainly due to the +and carefree nature of the wealthy. This higher class, who were essentially safeguarded by their money, lived life as if it was an endless party. It is this particular group that F. Scott Fitzgerald mainly targets when providing his criticism
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
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.
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.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, the reader sees a common theme of corruption of the American Dream. In the 1920’s, the times are changing in America and morals are becoming looser and the lifestyle of the wealthy is more careless. New fashion, attitude, and music is what nicknamed this era the “Jazz Age,” greatly influencing Fitzgerald’s writing. He created similarities between many things in pop culture and the journey his characters Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Myrtle are taking to achieve the American dream. Through the use of the lively, yet scandalous, jazz music from the 1920’s, Fitzgerald reflects the attitudes of the characters in The Great Gatsby at the end of innocence and prevalence of
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writings largely focus on the American aristocracy during the 1920s. The ‘20s became alternatively known as “the Jazz Age,” a term coined by Fitzgerald with connotations encompassing the prosperity, frivolity, and decadence of the upper class. The atmosphere and mindset of lavish excess are preserved in the plots and characters of Fitzgerald’s writings. Although Fitzgerald’s protagonists are wealthy, there is a noticeable distinction between those who come from “old money” and those who are considered “new money”. Amory Blaine, of This Side of Paradise, and Jay Gatsby, of The Great Gatsby, exemplify this difference.
The Jazz Age was known as a time to reinvent and remodel social norms. As the stock market boomed, the 1920s were a celebratory time of progression and economic growth. People were given more money and more liberty to live their lives as they pleased. However, these freedoms came with a cost. As seen in the novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Jazz Age was a time of moral decay due to these reckless and extravagant lifestyles. Fitzgerald uses contrasting characteristics, object symbolism, and allusions to popular music of the time to highlight the moral depravity present in America’s Upper Class in the 1920s.
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.
Is status more important than The American Dream? According to Gatsby that’s the case, he uses his status more than anything. The American Dream can mean many things to different people. My definition of it would be being happy, having money, and being successful in life. Fitzgerald's definition of The American Dream is being happy and having lots of money, he shows this by having the green light symbolize Gatsby's happiness with Daisy. Gatsby is also very wealthy in the book. When it comes to The Great Gatsby, status plays an important role in society and each character lives up to it. This book shows Gatsby's using status by making him the title of the book and the most well-known wealthy man in the book, shows him reaching his goals, and trying to impress Daisy with his status.
The “Roaring Twenties” indeed did roar. The decade, all at once spilling over with wealth and bursting at the seams with change, was experiencing an identity crisis. The nation had run out of the frontier that so romantically characterized it for its entire history, and was fresh out of a bloodier, different kind of war. America was in the middle of a vast reinvention, of its economy, its social classes, and its “American Dream.” In the midst of the chaos was writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, a cultural apex in and of himself, and his crowning achievement: The Great Gatsby, a brief novel glorified by historians and teachers alike. Gatsby contains more substance than a mere love story; it is a criticism and very real description of the schism that arose in the 1920s: a sudden appearance of a relatively new social class, one characterized by hard-working, ladder-climbing, sometimes-bootlegging American dreamers. This new-money status was mirrored by the American aristocracy,
F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the finest American authors of the twentieth century wrote The Great Gatsby during the Jazz Age to critique the distortion of the American dream, and his work has lasted long past his lifetime. Fitzgerald discusses the nature of love and wealth and stresses the importance of defining a person beyond their external position. In his novel, letter to his daughter, and the screenplay adapted from the novel, it is clear that F. Scott Fitzgerald utilizes exposition, narration, and imagery to illustrate how people in the 1920s did not understand the meaning of true love and worried about superficial characteristics, thus resulting in the corruption of the American dream from the pursuit of true love and equality to the pursuit of wealth and discrimination; however, he moralizes that human beings are capable of emotional growth and of escaping the illusion of wealth.
The ideological concept of social hegemony, based on the stratification of class, ensures that the ruling elite, the aristocracy, have absolute power over social institutions, with the ability to control and determine dominant social values. “The Great Gatsby” (1925), by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a contemporary realism novella, which explores the tragic adventures of the titular character, Jay Gatsby, as narrated by his neighbour and friend Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald’s scathing attack upon the selfish and frivolous values of the 1920s Jazz Age is effectively constructed through the author’s use of Carraway’s distinctive voice, to develop the ironic idea of Gatsby as “great” and the representation of the American Dream, the manipulative attitude of the aristocracy towards the bourgeoisie and proletariat classes, and the alternate reading of Nick Carraway as an unreliable narrator. Furthermore, “The Great Gatsby” is a Modernist text, rejecting traditional forms of literature in favour of Fitzgerald’s use of the distinct unreliability of narration within a nonlinear structure. Audiences are encouraged to respond to the ideas and attitudes constructed through Carraway’s distinctive voice, to question the hyperbolic excess of the Jazz Age, supporting the dominant reading of rejecting the extravagant and acquisitive corruption of the period, whilst also exploring the alternate reading of Carraway as an unreliable narrator.
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.
“Pleasure was the color of the time.” Harold Clurman 's famous quote refers to the incredible excess and glamour of the 1920s, a reality The Great Gatsby explores to a great extent. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald 's discussion of pertinent social and moral issues in the novel must be framed by a knowledge and awareness of the society in which it takes place, and such an understanding, at least to a reasonable extent, certainly enhanced my own personal reading of the issues Fitzgerald presents in the text. The social issues of class and class mobility, The idea of the American
“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.