This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Great Gatsby: A Study In Social Class Behavior

1021 words - 5 pages

The great Gatsby, among other things, portrays the tension and conflict which existed between different social classes of the 1920s. Stated less simply, the novel, as one individual described, explores “the preoccupation with class” and “the hunger for riches” (Yardley par. 5). It therefore remains fitting that Fitzgerald begins the book with the quote "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had" (Fitzgerald 1). These words set the tone for the book and provide the reader with the first clue as to why Gatsby fails to achieve his dream. Gatsby dreams of marrying a woman separated from him by a few, or ...view middle of the document...

Thus, the most significant factor which contributes to Gatsby's failure in achieving his dream limits him from his birth onward.
Furthermore, in Fitzgerald's novel, his female characters resist marriage with men who are not of a high socio-economic status. This is not altogether incomprehensible. Understandably, a woman might seek a man who could ensure her financial stability. Unsurprisingly therefore, Myrtle Wilson complains the "only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody's best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it" (Fitzgerald 35). Gatsby certainly becomes an extremely wealthy man, however his wealth is fickle and does not possess the strength and stability of wealth gained from the traditional and hereditary aristocracy. As aforementioned, it also did not possess the prestige of said money. Tom Buchannan provides the reader with this information. He says that Gatsby "sold grain alcohol over the counter" (Fitzgerald 133) and that "Walter could have you [Gatsby] up on the betting laws too" (Fitzgerald 134). During this display "Daisy... was staring terrified between Gatsby and her husband [Tom Buchannan]" (Fitzgerald 134), obviously frightened by Gatsby's freshly exposed financial insecurities. Furthermore, although they love each other, Daisy does not marry Gatsby while the two are young. She waits for him to gain his fortune, and eventually grows tired. Gatsby claims that Daisy "only married you [Tom Buchannan] because I was poor" (Fitzgerald 130). She sees this as a necessity. Later in the novel, the reader discovers that even this fortune is not enough when Daisy does not marry Gatsby. Thus, it becomes clear that the women of the novel value both money and prestige. For this reason, Daisy resists marrying Gatsby even after he has amassed his fortune.
Moreover, it is not only females who are uneasy about a marriage which bridges aristocratic and middle-class roots. This is a socially unacceptable action, which goes against established...

Find Another Essay On The Great Gatsby: A Study in Social Class Behavior

Wealth and Class in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1808 words - 7 pages In ‘The Great Gatsby’ Fitzgerald criticises the increase of consumerism in the 1920s and the abandonment of the original American Dream , highlighting that the increased focus on wealth and the social class associated with it has negative effects on relationships and the poorest sections of society. The concept of wealth being used as a measure of success and worth is also explored by Plath in ‘The Bell Jar’. Similarly, she draws attention to

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Presentation of Class and Responsibility in his The Great Gatsby and Other Works

1934 words - 8 pages If there is one aspect of personality and character that connect the wealthy and privileged in the The Great Gatsby it is the lack of responsibility that they take for their own actions. This lack of responsibility stems from (or perhaps gives rise to) a sense of complete and utter boredom. Tom and his wife Daisy Buchanan, the woman whom Nick accuses of “incurable dishonesty” Jordan Baker, Gatsby’s mentor Dan Cody, and the gambler Meyer

The American Nightmare. Essay on "The Great Gatsby". Fitzgerald's criticism of the perversion of the American dream and the upper class during that time period

1130 words - 5 pages -class character, Wilson, being an example of cruel satisfaction in the derision of the poor. Tom's affair with Myrtle ultimately leads to Wilson's insanity and Gatsby's death. In the novel, all of the people of inherited wealth lack morals and are perfectly capable of crushing anyone in their way. In The Great Gatsby, the East Eggers are people of inherited wealth and all are egotistic snobs. Their dilemmas and acts, a list of immorality, are a

Social mobility in The Great Gatsby

836 words - 3 pages This essay discusses the role of social mobility in The Great Gatsby. It argues that not all people can reach the highest social class, this is a class you must belong to from the beginning of life or marry in to. However, the characters are living the American dream which makes social mobility to the other social classes available. The essay addresses the American Dream, the difference in social class between the main characters and how some

Social Relationships in "The Great Gatsby"

1111 words - 4 pages Novelists are often concerned with exploring the confusions and complexities of social relationships. In the context, confusions refer to puzzling relationships, which are confusing to comprehend. Whereas, complexities relate to complicated and intricate issues. The different social relationships discussed in F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby", are business colleagues, lovers and married partners. The characters involved in these

Linguistic Choices in The Great Gatsby A study of the linguistic choices in Scott F. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

676 words - 3 pages Linguistic Choices in The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby emerged in the 1920's with triumphant fanfare, cementing its place as a classic American novel as well as proclaiming its classification as a modern onr. The Great Gatsby pushed the boundaries of literature by abolishing preconceived notions of viewpoint, emotional language, and examining real world issues. The presentation of death in The Great Gatsby is unusual and is dealt with in a

Social criticism in The Great Gatsby and Great Expectations

2254 words - 9 pages Authors often use their works to convey criticisms of society. Such works of literature do not directly criticize specific real people or events. They do however present a sense of the writer's concern with issues of social injustice and misguided values. Two strong examples of social criticism through literature are Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In both novels the writers project their social

Social Class in Great Expectations

2390 words - 10 pages Social class has been a central theme in many famous literary works, that it is hardy a shock for anyone to read about it. Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Scott FitzGerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, and Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations” for instance are just some of the many novels centralizing social class. However, the strong, yet subtle implications that Charles Dickens introduces to his novels

Gatsby As A Fake, Desperate Hero In The Great Gatsby

1726 words - 7 pages lives and breathes for Daisy, the “nice” girl he loves, even though she is married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby`s love may sound dedicated, but it is more obsessive because he lives in his dreams and will literally do anything to win Daisy`s heart. In Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is not portrayed as being a romantic hero due to his attempts in trying to be someone he is not by faking his identity, by his selfish acts in desperation for

Social inequity in “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “The Great Gatsby”

1016 words - 5 pages Analyzing the different themes addressed in the books “The Motorcycle Diaries” written by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, and “The Great Gatsby” written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald it is possible to find some topics in common, such as, the social inequity portrayed in both books. Although this social inequity is stronger and clearer in “The motorcycle Diaries”, it is also represented in some way in “The Great Gatsby” due to a marked

What social problems are exposed in The Great Gatsby?

930 words - 4 pages ceaselessly into the past." In Conclusion, F. Scott Fitzgerald exposes many human and social problems of the 1920's. The main problem in the novel is the hollowness of the rich. He makes the story more believable by using a variety of different techniques including: first person narrative, symbolism, setting and his realistic writing style. The end result, The Great Gatsby, is a close study of the period and the problems associated with it.

Similar Essays

Social Class Distinction In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

795 words - 3 pages Have you ever thought of how social and economic classes work into a capitalist system? Marxists believe that different social and economic classes should be equal. In the book the “Great Gatsby” written by F. Scott Fitzgerald these classes are very much defined and show the flaws and reality of how social and economic classes are viewed through Marxists. Viewing the classes through vulgar Marxists the characters attempting to climb social and

Economy And Social Class In The Articles "Class Matters" And In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

838 words - 4 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the novel, the Great Gatsby, during the 1920s. This decade was characterized by economic and cultural change. With the growth of a new class of new money, Americans began to grow tired of the different social standards of the each social rank and attempted to move into a higher class. Fitzgerald focused on this disparity between classes and several class issues, specifically class mobility. In the year 2005, several

Money, Power, Class In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

658 words - 3 pages Money, power, and social classes all played a huge role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Throughout the book Fitzgerald develops his characters based on their settings and each role’s purpose is about money and wealth status. Each character also has their own power over one another because of their money and social ranking. For example Daisy Buchannan, who is known for being careless and free, has a lot of power over other characters

Class In The Great Gatsby And Pride And Prejudice

1713 words - 7 pages In his novella 'The Great Gatsby', F. Scott Fitzgerald presents class as a personal and definite thing, illustrating how attempts to change your class will lead to tragedy. Jane Austen, in her novel 'Pride and Prejudice', uses class as a criticism of society. Her portrayal of class differs from Fitzgerald's as she presents the idea that class restrictions, while rigid, do not determine one's character and can therefore be overcome. Both novels