The Great Gatsby: Division Between An Upper And Lower Classes

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is set in the 1920s era involving a clear divide between an upper and lower class. After a complicated past two characters are led back to each other and find that spark that was unfinished from the beginning. Nick Carraway tells the story from his point of view when he lived the upper-class lifestyle. There is a distinct line between the classes in the novel, which will be analysed using the Marxist theory.

Throughout the novel Carraway uses language that clearly separates a higher class with the lower class. Main Character Jay Gatsby lives a posh life. Gatsby had a desire to be rich and his main motivation for all this was past lover Daisy Buchanan. He fell in love with Daisy’s charm, luxury and grace and her wealth in society as Gatsby says “She’s got an indiscreet voice, its full of …. Her voice is full of money” (pg 106). This quote explains her undesirable charm and Gatsby’s desire for her wealth and status. Although Gatsby shows his appearance in chapter 3, he is a well-known thirty-year-old man who is explained to be successful coming from a poor family. George B Wilson is an example of living in a lower-class state. Wilson owns a petrol station and lives in a rundown garage in ‘valley of ashes’ between Eggs and New York City with his well to do wife Myrtle Wilson. Carraway describes George Wilson as a “poor man, poor in money and poor in hope” this is said because he has been beaten down by his wife as she has the power in the relationship. The characters show many signs of unawareness between the lower class as they take more care in their money and rich lifestyle rather than those who are poor and struggling. The ‘valley of ashes’ is described to be the moral and social decay from when the wealthy used to live there but now, they don’t even acknowledge those who are still living there and working hard. Nick Carraway rented a house at west egg district of long island where the newly rich people lived and soon became neighbours to Jay Gatsby. Carraway was not a man to care about how much money others have, he met Gatsby through being neighbours and he showed Carraway a different perspective to the upper-class lifestyle. Jay Gatsby hosts his weekly Saturday night parties allowing Carraway to be introduced to other upper-class people living around him. Socialism is shown to be accepted in this book as Gatsby enjoys making Carraway meet new people and socialise with those, he never thought he would be acknowledged from. Those whom have a first impression of Carraway can compare the differences from someone earning a high wage and someone who lives on a minimum wage. Although Carraway is a respectful man who observes those living in New York and believes that sometimes living with less can be better than living with more money. The Great Gatsby novella sends off a message throughout the book to the audience about how the American dream is not as good as living with someone you love in your future. Gatsby shows a great representation as he attained a wealthy and popular status however his main dream was to be with the women he loved forever and that was Daisy Buchannan. The novel shows the differences between the upper class and the lower class although they never seem to gossip about those who earn a less wage to them because they have their own wealthy status to keep up with on a daily basis, causing the differences to be shown clearly between the two. Carraway explains throughout the novel that his father gave him advice to do with equality by saying to his son that “whenever you feel like criticizing any one… just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (pg 13). This quote was said to remind his son Nick that his success has come from growing up in a wealthy family and been set up for life as others have had to work for their place in the world. The ideological values are based on the rich and poor characters placed in this novel. The novel demonstrates a representation of how men and women in the upper class show their wealth and attraction to money, they live and dress in a certain way and have their beliefs on how the women should act. The novel uses explicit values throughout the book as the characters are portrayed in a way to display how wealthy each upper-class individual is. Gatsby does not demonstrate the beliefs he is classified as the beliefs because he is what the wealthy people aspire to be. As a wealthy character in this novel they portray themselves to be set in their own ways and only communicate with the high society in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novella The Great Gatsby.  

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