Social Economics Within the Great Gatsby

Topics: Social class, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 2 (780 words) Published: January 21, 2009
Social Economics

In the story of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays themes such as: betrayal, time, greed, the American dream, and power. Among the possible themes, one of the more important is social-economic class. Fitzgerald places his characters into distinctive classes and shows how each group has its own character and its own troubles to deal with. The two classes Fitzgerald uses in his novel are socioeconomic, the rich and the middle class. Fitzgerald does an explicit job of portraying the rich, for he does not place all of them into a single group. Instead, Fitzgerald explores two different classes of the wealthy. There are individuals, like Jordan Baker, who were born into their wealth. Her family has most likely had money for generations on end. Because of this they are called “old money”. In The Great Gatsby, the people who are born into old money do not have to work, do not talk about their wealth, and are able to go through their days entertaining themselves with whatever makes them happy. The characters who represent this group, Tom, Daisy, and Jordan, are most likely the most selective group, making distinctions of a person’s kind of wealth. They base their decisions not on how much wealth a person has, but on how long that person has had their wealth and how they made it. In the 1920s Gatsby and many others acquired their wealth. People like this were considered “new money”. The fact that these people are new money is enough reason for old money people, like Tom and Daisy, to not include them in their circle. According to the old money way of thinking, new money people could never have their kind of taste and sophistication. Not only does Gatsby “work”, but his origins are from a poor class, which means that he could not be good enough for Daisy. Daisy, coming from old money, is judgmental and shallow. When she first met Gatsby, she decided she could not possibly be with him because of his lack of money. She failed to...
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