Gatsby Divisons Between Rich and Poor

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“The Great Gatsby illustrates perfectly the divisions between rich and poor” consider how effectively this is achieved in the opening two chapters

Fitzgerald uses language in order to create a clear division between the rich and the poor. In many ways such as the use of colour imagery and the description of people and places, a clear division between classes can be seen. Although, through the actions of the people in these classes Fitzgerald makes the division seem less prominent.

Firstly, during the opening chapter, the narrator describes the Buchanan’s house. Nick describes the ceiling as “frosted wedding cake”. This creates a luxurious image of something very extravagant and celebratory. The use of the word ‘wedding’ suggests that the ceiling is very over the top. Also, because a wedding is something that usually only takes place once in someone’s life, it seems as though the ceiling is more extravagant and expensive than it needs to be. Nick also describes their house as a “rosy coloured space” this creates an image that uses a lot of colour and gives a fairly romantic tone to the description. In contrast, during chapter two when Nick describes Myrtle’s town, he describes the “ash grey men” and repeats the colour grey throughout the description. This repetition provides a more dull and negative image in comparison to the Buchanan’s. Also, the use of the word ‘grey’ gives connotations of death, this links closely to the idea of the American dream and this death could be a metaphor for the death of the American dream as for the working class it was an almost impossible goal. The ideas of death explored within the working class directly contrast the imagery of a “rosy” colour because roses are associated with life and love. Therefore Fitzgerald has very effectively created prominent division between the rich and poor through the use of colour.

Fitzgerald also uses the differences in the people Nick meets in order to create a clear division between the...
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