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Morgan Sullivan Fliegel English 11 Core May 9th 2012 Social Class in The Great Gatsby In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, there are many conflicts between the upper class, middle class and lower class. Throughout the book there are countless interactions between the different social class levels. F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays each class as having a different attitude and personalities: the upper class as snobby and cheaters, and lower class as desperate, the newly upper class as dreamers and believers, and the middle class as average people.
The middle class in this book is described as the most relatable and understandable. There is a great similarity between the book and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life. Fitzgerald was also in the middle class, the same as his main character Nick. In the book, Fitzgerald is trying to live the life he wanted through Nick’s character. With this similarity between the two it is highly likely he portrayed the middle class with the greatest behaviors and actions.
In the book there was never a moment where Nick does something wrong, he was put in situations in between the other classes but he was never betrayed as doing anything wrong. The lower class is depicted as desperate. Not only does Myrtle, one of the lower class characters, cheat on her poor husband but she is also money hungry. While she is out with her Tom she goes on wanting everything she sees a magazine, some perfume, and even a puppy. While her husband is at home trying to think of some way to get more business and money into the shop.
In most situations when thinking of the upper class one might think sophisticated or classy, but F. Scott Fitzgerald describes them as the opposite in this novel. There behavior was far worse than any other classes’ behavior by far. In the beginning of the book the same day Nick arrives at Tom and Daisy’s house Tom wants to go introduce Nick to his mistress Myrtle. F. Scott Fitzgerald in his own life was in the middle class area that’s why the middle class was portrayed with the best behavior and attitudes 1
Author: Wallace Hartsell
The Great Gatsby Social Classes
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The Role of Social Class in “The Great Gatsby” Essay
1091 Words5 Pages
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…show more content…
“And a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in the corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near.” (p.49) another setting described in the novel is New York City, a ‘mixing pot’ of all of the social classes. But also the setting for Tom and Myrtle’s apartment “The living room was crowded to the doors with a set of tapestried furniture entirely too large for it” (p.25). This is in contrast to an upper classes house for example “A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end, and out at the other like pale flags” (p.10) because this quote is explaining the proximity of space within the house, unlike Tom and Myrtle’s apartment which is ‘crowded’ and ‘furniture entirely too large’ it shows what money can buy, i.e. if you are upper class and have more money then you can buy a ‘oversized’ house, but if you are of the lower class then you can only afford a ‘crowded’ and compact house/apartment.
Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby’s relationship was damaged by their contrasting social classes, but also because he had a lack of status and wealth. In relation to this Daisy married Tom for his wealth and status not for his love, which suggests Daisy is a materialistic character is more concerned about her money and possessions than she is about intellectual and spiritual objects. “Gatsby is an idealist, he seeks for