Comparison of the Great Gatsby, Leisure Class, and Teaching in Tehran

Topics: Sociology, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Reading Lolita in Tehran Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: March 25, 2012
David Jang
AP Lang
Dr. Young

Class differences in society are a major impact on the lifestyle of people. Even today we can see how it effects how a person experiences their life. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we can clearly see how Gatsby's social status changes while in Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi we can see how class differences effect the opinions of the people in the class. The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen also demonstrates the philosophy and the dynamics of the differences between the rich and the poor. In these three works, status is portrayed as a dominant force in shaping one's educational and/or social experience. In The Great Gatsby we can see how one's status effects a person's educational and/or social experience. Gatsby was born into a poor family and so he wasn't able to get a proper education. Instead he worked as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher, unlike Tom and Nick who had the best education due to their higher status and abundance of money. Gatsby had a different social experiece from Nick who was raised as a wealthy young boy who knew of his status. This acted as a confidence booster, one that assured him of his identity. Nick's father once said to him "'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had" (1). Gatsby, on the other hand, had a different social experience. Gatsby wasn't spoiled and became mature at a younger age. However, when Gatsby moves to West Egg, his educational and social experiences now differ from his past due to him being a higher status. Gatsby, now a wealthy man, is able to pursue an education with more confidence. He is also able to experience a new social standing. An example of him excercising his new wealth and position in society is his hosting of popular parties in which he is able to observe how higher class people interact. Despite this he is always uncomfortable...

Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. (1925) New York: Scribner, 2004.
Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. New York: Random House 2003
Veblen, Thorstein. The Theory of the Leisure Class. (1899) New York: Penguin, 1944
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