Great Gatsby Historical and Marxist Analysis

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Griffin Ward
Mrs Mohs
APULL
4/9/13
The Great Gatsby
Benjamin Franklin once said “Money has never made man happy, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” This quote accurately depicts the problems F. Scott Fitzgerald analyzes in his book The Great Gatsby. His book was written and is set in a time where people put great importance on their wealth and social class. These people’s lives are shallow and unfulfilling because of this. This book can be read through many different perspectives, but two in particular stick out in finding the most enriching meaning behind Fitzgerald’s words. Viewing the Great Gatsby through both a Historical lens and a Marxist lens shows us the false importance placed upon wealth and class distinctions and the unhappiness and loneliness that comes with it. Viewing this book through a historical lens, many things come into sharper focus. For starters, this book was set in the time following WW1. After the deaths of many young soldiers, people felt entitled to have some fun. This is shown many times throughout The Great Gatsby with people coming to his parties without invitations. The text says “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited — they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island, and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door. Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby, and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission” (Fitzgerald 41). People didn’t care so much about manners in these situations but rather about their own entertainment and enjoyment. Conservatism and moderation were thrown out of the window, leading to...
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