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The Theme Of Wealth And Social Status In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays
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. Overtime, as Americans started having…show more content…
Our focus on wealth and social status leaves us divided rather than united as people had hoped. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dream”, Fitzgerald shows that social status and wealth are not just an aspect of life, but barriers that people struggle to overcome. Dexter Green constantly made his decisions based on money. The only reason he caddied was “for pocket-money” (Fitzgerald 659). This resembles the American way of doing things solely for a profit. He was swayed by money and status when he decided to leave his job after meeting Judy Jones. He did not want to caddie for her, because then he could never be her equal and would lose the chance of winning her over. From the moment he met her, he let the differences between their social status and wealth separate them. Hemingway uses this to resemble the way American people let money influence our perceptions of others. America has become a materialistic society. If someone does not resemble a high social standard, then they viewed as less than. Just like Dexter, people are concerned that their financial status is what they will be judged and viewed by. He, like many people, then strived to change his place in society. Even after Dexter attended college and set up “the largest string of laundries in his section of the country” earning him a fortune, he still did not fit in the world that Judy Jones was a part of (Fitzgerald 662). This shows that the money that separated them in the beginning was not the only thing that kept them apart. Overall, Fitzgerald uses his influence as a writer to shine a light on the sad reality of wealth’s influence in American
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