Lens Examples for the Great Gatsby

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The Materialistic American Dream
Definition of sociological lens: A Marxist criticism is how different social classes interact, and in turn affect society as a whole. This includes how people idolize materialistic things, in most cases, money. This criticism states that socialism can only be achieved through the conflict between social classes brought forth by wealth and luxury. The philosopher Karl Marx stated, “I do not like money, money is the reason we fight”. This is the idea that nearly all things negative in modern society is brought forth by materialism.

Thesis Statement: In “The Great Gatsby”, the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, explores how the social classes of the twenties affected society negatively as a whole, creating a corrupt thought of what the “American dream” truly is.

A passage (quoted or paraphrased) from the text (Gatsby) followed by a parenthetical page number.| An explanation of how the passage connects to the chosen critical lens and the thesis statement| “But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away” ( Fitzgerald 27).| In this passage Fitzgerald uses strong imagery words to exaggerate the desolated, poorer area, where the American dream was once, clearly a lively idea. This negative description is told from the point of view of Nick, who is used so the perfect lifestyle. This perfect lifestyle is rudimentary to the upper class within American society. This principle was established in the early twentieth century, when America was...
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