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The Equality Myth

analytical Essay
642 words
642 words
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It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed.

--Kin Hubbard, Sociologist

The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is as much a novel about social hierarchy as it is about class-consciousness. Throughout the novel we are bombarded with images of extravagant wealth and shuddering pauperism with the elite upper class using those around them as stepping-stones to their own selfish happiness.

The novel makes a point to differentiate between classes within classes especially how the sociology of the wealthy differs within itself. The new millionaires (represented by Gatsby and those of the West Egg) of the twenties are much more crass compared to the old aristocracy (represented by the Buchanan's and those of East Egg). Fitzgerald describes the newly rich as being unrefined and lacking in taste. Gatsby for instance live in a monstrous ornate mansion wears gaudy pink suits and even drives a large Rolls Royce. In comparison, the Buchanan's live in a tasteful, elegance home and possess and innate sense of grace and style as seen in the dress of both Daisy and Jordan, "They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house."(Gatsby pg.13)However the old aristocracy's sophistication is often overshadowed but their lack of compassion for anyone but themselves, gliding though life with the ease of knowing that money can solve any problem that might arise before them. For example, at the end of the novel the Buchanan's don't even attend Gatsby's funeral despite Daisy's indirect cause of his death, instead they simply threw money at the problem and moved.

Interestingly enough, the manner in w...

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...tlessly pursuing its own destructive materialism. It is a human fault however, having possessed wealth, like a drug, one must have more and more still until nothing else in the world matters. Money being power and power money, mankind foolishly is seen destroying itself for the betterment of a select few.

There has always been a social hierarchy since the first man had something another did not and this social stratification has only matured with time adding customs and conventions steadily widening the gap between the haves and the have nots. The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts a world of such class-consciousness, ultimately forcing the reader to look within themselves at their own materialism and the utter absurdity of a class based society.

Bibliography

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 1926.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the great gatsby is a novel about social hierarchy as it is about class-consciousness. we are bombarded with images of extravagant wealth and shuddering pauperism.
  • Analyzes how fitzgerald's novel differentiates between classes within classes and the sociology of the wealthy.
  • Analyzes how gatsby's criminal activity is not reflected in his character. the west egger is sincere and loyal, but the buchanans' undesirable characteristics allow them to remove themselves from the incident both physically and mentally.
  • Compares george wilson to gatsby in that both are dreamers and are ruined by their unrequited love for women who love tom.
  • Analyzes how eckleburg's eyes represent god staring down upon man and judging american society as a moral wasteland, thoughtlessly pursuing its destructive materialism.
  • Analyzes how f. scott fitzgerald's the great gatsby depicts a world of such class-consciousness, forcing the reader to look within themselves at their own materialism and the utter absurdity of class based society.
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