The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald Symbolism/Social Status essay

Essay by hiphopdec February 2009

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Social Status in the Great Gatsby“The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, may appear to be a simple tragic romance; however, within the text Fitzgerald identifies and defines social gaps and importance of wealth. He also portrays women very separately than men. “The Great Gatsby” allows the reader to witness the world of extreme wealth and experience the joys and tragedies of being within this certain class. In the novel, Fitzgerald criticizes American society in the 1920's for its emphasis on money, superficial relationships, and obsession about class, as well as allowing the reader to interpret the importance of gender within the class.

Society did have a great part to play in shaping the personalities of individuals. ‘“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he [my father] told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had”’. This quote gave away the personality of the narrator from the beginning.

Throughout the novel, the characters that he came into contact with were immediately associated with their money and their level of power.

Jay Gatsby is the main character in “The Great Gatsby”. Jay Gatsby tells Nick that after his childhood in the Midwest, he met Cody and from this he learned how to struggle through life and acquire wealth and power. He is totally self-taught and tells Nick that he has been in the drug business and later in the oil business, though exactly what he does isn’t revealed. Throughout the novel there is almost nothing written about the lower class; however, ironically, the only character that is associated with being poor is Gatsby. He is the most prestigious when compared to all of the other characters at the time, but he was the only one to have been poor in his past.