Writing Task 2 on Great Gatsby
How and why is a social group represented in a particular way? The Great Gatsby presents different social groups to embody and transmit the idea that each class has it’s own problems to prevail over and unhappiness transcends over all the social classes. The problems in each group, despite the social stratification, reveal the instability of the world they live in. The three classes are old money, new money, and no money in which all three believe their own rules of survival in society and enforce boundaries between social classes. Fitzgerald uses the similarities between the poor and the rich to reinforce his opinion and his characterization of the upper class.
The new rich represented by West Egg have newly accumulated wealth and lack any connections which they make up with lavish displays. They lack social grace and taste evidently seen in Gatsby’s flamboyant mansion and pink suit compared to the Buchanan’s home and Daisy’s white flowing dress. The lack of social connections is evident when Gatsby does not take hint of the subtle signal of the hypocrisy in the Sloane invitation to eat. Since the new rich have only recently acquired their wealth and once belonged to the lower class they are seen as antithesis of the old rich. Even though Gatsby who represents the new rich and has ties to criminal activity as the source of his wealth he still manages to have a heart filled with love and be characterized by loyalty. These qualities eventually lead to his downfall as he takes the blame for Daisy regarding Myrtle’s murder. The “old money” class represented geographically by East Egg is characterized by their accumulation of wealth before the 19th century, influential and important social connections, and a propensity to conceal their money and dominance behind a veil of courteousness. They scorn the new post war, wealthy industrialists that surge in the booming economy of the 1920’s. The Buchanans and Jordan Baker...
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