The Great Gatsby

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Shallowness of the Upper Class

One of the main themes of The Great Gatsby , by Scott Fitzgerald, is the shallowness of the upper class. This idea of shallowness is expressed frequently through the main characters Daisy and Tom. They are occasionally compared to the other two main characters Gatsby and Nick. The story takes place in 1920s America in Long Island, New York during prohibition. Prohibition was a time period where alcohol was made illegal, but if you were part of the upper class it was more a joke than a law. Through Fitzgerald’s writing, the reader is able to observe the difference of selflessness not only between the upper and lower class but also between the people living in the West Egg compared to those in the East Egg. The Great Gatsby is symbolic of life in the 1920s America. It resembles the way in which people gained their happiness through materials. Although The Great Gatsby portrays a love story between a man and a woman the main theme of the novel is much more than that. The main theme of The Great Gatsby is the shallowness of the Upper class. One reoccurring example of the difference of classes is shown between the East egg and the West Egg. The West Egg, where the narrator Nick lives, represents the newly rich like Gatsby and Nick. The West Egg is explained as less tasteful than the east; “I lived at West Egg, the- well, the less fashionable of the two.” [1](5). People living in the West Egg also seem to lack taste but have much bigger hearts than those living in the East Egg. For example Gatsby compared to Tom. Gatsby lives in a fabulous mansion while Tom lives in a very elegant home. Gatsby is kind while Tom is very far from that. The East Egg represents the people who have had money, like Daisy and Tom. It is believed to be the classier of the two eggs; “Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water” [2](5). People living in the East Egg have good taste but no heart. For



Bibliography: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (New York 1925). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 10 June 2013. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Great Gatsby.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 7 Jun. 2013. "prohibition." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 1 May 2013.

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