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Essay about Wealth in Fitzgerald´s The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby shows the dehumanizing nature of wealth by creating a contrast between the rich and the poor. The point of this contrast is to illustrate the class struggle that was occurring in the country when Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. The comparison between rich and poor is first developed in the beginning of the book when Tom and Nick are driving to New York. Fitzgerald further elaborates on the gross differences between rich and poor when Gatsby manages to avoid a speeding ticket. Fitzgerald also uses popular songs from the time period, “Aint’t We Got Fun”, to build his case of the class struggle between the rich and the poor. Fitzgerald uses The Great Gatsby to try and illustrate the issues that were facing the poor…show more content…
This simple action changed the police officer’s demeanor towards Gatsby instantly. Instead of being a target, Gatsby was suddenly someone to be respected and given special privilege. Nick inquired “What was that … The picture of Oxford?” showing how the rich understand the special treatment that they are getting above the middle class (68). Later on, while having lunch with Wolfsheim, Gatsby calmly informs Nick that Wolfsheim fixed the World Series. These opportunities to make large amounts of money only come if you have large amounts of money. This type of attitude is reflected in all of the wealthy characters in the book; the attitude of superiority simply because of the amount of money that you have. Another method that Fitzgerald uses to draw contrast between the rich and working class is through references to popular media of the time period. When Gatsby demands that Klipspringer play the piano for him and Daisy, Klipspringer plays a song “Ain’t We Got Fun”. The first sets of lyrics that are included in the book are about having fun all day. This is a reference to the lifestyle of the rich. The second set of lyrics focus more on the life of the working class man. “One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer/ the rich get richer and the poor get – children” (95). Fitzgerald uses this to continue his comparison. The fun filled lifestyle of the rich compared to the work filled lifestyle
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