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What Social Problems Are Exposed In The Great Gatsby?

930 words - 4 pages

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is set in the 1920's, a period of American History known as the "Roaring Twenties". The Great Gatsby is the story of the extravagant lifestyle of the rich and famous of New York in this time of peace and prosperity. The story is told by Nick Carraway, a young bonds salesman who has just moved to the wealthy but unfashionable area known as the "West Egg". However, behind the lavish displays of wealth and spectacular gatherings, the author exposes many social and human problems facing the inhabitants of Long Island. His use of: realistic writing, first person narrative, symbolism all help to convey his message to the reader. The main topic or problem raised by the author in the novel is the hollowness of the upper class. The Great Gatsby focuses around the lifestyle of the self-made millionaires living in the West Egg as compared to the old aristocracy of the countries richest families living in the East Egg. "Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water"The residents of the West Egg are portrayed as tasteless, wasteful, extravagant and socially ill mannered. The residents of the East Egg are seen to be elegant, graceful and the opposite to their West Egg neighbours. For example, the Buchanan's own an elegant mansion on the East Egg while Gatsby resides in his giant gothic mansion. "The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard - it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than 40 acres of lawn and garden"This extract clearly emphasizes the enormity of Gatsby's mansion, and the fact that it would never be socially accepted if it were built on the East Egg. Gatsby built the house for one reason, to attract the attention of his old flame, Daisy Buchanan. Daisy is the cousin of Nick, the novel's narrator. Gatsby has been in love with Daisy ever since their short-lived love affair during the war. Daisy on the other hand, married an extremely wealthy man by the name of Tom Buchanan because of his money. Daisy and Tom are so used to being wealthy that they never worry about hurting others. "Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand"This quote refers to the scene where Tom Buchanan breaks his mistress' nose just because she is yelling at him. This shows...

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