The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

985 Words4 Pages
Allison Ching
7:30 Martin/Loui

Those at the Top Have the Farthest to Fall 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.
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When Nick examines Wolfsheim’s cufflinks, Wolfsheim replys that they were the “finest specimen of human molars”, which highlights his ruthlessness and willingness to put others down to come out on top (72). Having cufflinks made of human molars is clearly cruel and immoral, yet Wolfsheim speaks of them in a calm and rather nonchalant manner, which Fitzgerald uses as a statement that this sort of apathetic nature was commonplace during this time. To Wolfshiem, these cufflinks are symbolic of the many people he put down to gain his status, and act as a “trophy” of his brutality. Another one of Fitzgerald’s many symbols is Gatsby’s house. Gatsby’s enormous mansion was a “colossal affair by any standard-it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy ...more than forty acres of lawn and garden” and symbolizes Gatsby’s selfishness and apathy (5). As Tom pointed out, Gatsby’s wealth came from illegitimate sources that Gatsby refused to take blame for. Gatsby’s house symbolizes his disregard towards his partner in jail, as he continues to lead a life of carefree indulgence, not making any attempt to help out his colleague. This speaks to Fitzgerald’s theme of the Upper Class’ apathetic nature, as these people continue to better themselves while dismissing those around them.
The Jazz Age was an entire decade
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