The Great Gatsby: Hollowness of the Social Upper Class

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Giampa 1 The Great Gatsby: The Hollowness of the Social Upper Class

“’Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’” Daisy, Tom and Gatsby represent the upmost social class in author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby. It is through the shallowness of Daisy, Tom and Gatsby that Fitzgerald presents the theme of corruption, carelessness, and dishonesty.

Corruption remains a subtle theme throughout The Great Gatsby, yet becomes increasingly noticeable in Gatsby’s actions and personality during the latter of the novel. Gatsby is depicted as being associated with Meyer Wolfsheim despite his obvious corruption through rigging the nineteen-nineteen World Series in his favour. “He’s the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919…He just saw the opportunity.” (71) Gatsby is fully away of the crimes Wolfsheim committed yet, continues to make acquaintance with him. This has a powerful notion to the reader; one can easily see the true corrupted nature Gatsby clings to in his lifestyle. Gatsby’s clouded and rumoured history suggests his wealth is acquired through corrupted means and business in hazy operations. Many of the guests who attend Gatsby’s parties gossip and share rumours of their own to each other about Gatsby, none of which can be taken seriously due to the staggering amount of bizarre and varying stories. Nick has much suspicion that Gatsby is or has been involved in illegal activity in order to get in the financial position he is in currently. Nick finds confirmation of Gatsby’s illegal activity at the end of the novel when he accidentally intercepts a phone call from a man introduced as Slagle that was
Giampa 2 originally directed at Gatsby. “’This is Slagle speaking… Young Parke’s in trouble,’ he said rapidly. ‘They picked him up when he handed the bonds over the counter.’” (158)

Tom is a major



Cited: Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Penguin Group, 1950

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