The Role Of Capitalism In The Great Gatsby

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Bestolarides 1
Paul Bestolarides
Professor Shinbrot
HRS 196:
Photography’s Function in The Great Gatsby
The 1920’s was the perennial Golden Age of America, where economic opportunities for individuals would fulfill a lifelong affinity for a successful life. This opportunity was mainly due to technological advances that would change the American image. The age was known for introducing new ways of transportation, jazz, and the influence of motion pictures. Highlighting this age of advancing excellence was the moment of impact for the arts for widely distributing printing, such as newspapers that obtained the new gossip that suffocated the streets. The actions of printing conveyed the social classes in height of cultural change.
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According to Ross Posnock, “Fitzgerald’s primary goal was to expose the hidden corruption of their society, but to reveal the seductive allure of what he indicated, [A New World, Material Without Being Real : Fitzgerald’s Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby, p. 201].” In other words, Fitzgerald divided the nature of man by introducing the seductive allure that is photography. The division of both nature and man is a Nietzchian communist ideology that exploited the dangers of capitalism, [Insert Source]. The highest form of capitalism is to glamorize the celebrity and their image. Fitzgerald highlights capitalism in his novel in his characters. Fitzgerald’s characters are limited by social bonds and conventions possessed by the power of money. Inevitably, the corruption of money would render his characters far from what they actually are. They exist as an illusion, a manipulated object of larger and stronger commercial powers, [Posnock, A New World, Material Without Being Real : Fitzgerald’s Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby, p.…show more content…
But, photography is a term that can be loosely associated with image because of it’s origin called the ‘daguerreotype.’ A daguerreotype is known as ‘an obsolete form of photography in which images were produced on chemically treated plates of metal or glass.’ Like the daguerreotype, Fitzgerald begins with an image of history. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald plays as a historical presence, because the author uses Nick to narrate the story. The narration in the story occurs two years after the fact to formulate a spherical process when Nick discusses the past. The novel begins at the end, then proceeds to the beginning, then back to the end in a non-linear fashion. Author Kermit W. Moyer points out the symbolism of the spherical structure when he explains that the structure of the story follows the circular movements within the story itself. “If the reader is to make an imaginary map they would begin at West Egg, then to East Egg, from Long Island Manhattan and back, from East to West and back. The image of the circle is perhaps most obviously apparent in the egg-shaped geography (hence the name) East and West egg, [Moyer, Critical Essays on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, History-Myth-Meaning, p. 216-217].” The structure of the circle gives the reader the image of how the rest of the novel is going to progress. The idea of the circular image retraces itself

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