The main, reoccurring theme in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is the theme of society and class. Three separate social classes are portrayed in the novel: “old money,” “new money,” and the lowest class known as “no money.” The “old money” class refers to those who come from families that have fortunes. “New money” families are those who made their money in the Roaring Twenties and often lavishly display their wealth. In the novel, the growing tension between the “old” and the “new” money classes are shown through Gatsby and Tom’s struggle over Daisy. The novel’s narrator, Nick Carraway, begins the novel by sharing advice his father gave him when he was younger: do not criticize others because “all the people in this world
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Wolfsheim is unscrupulous, selfish, and heartless, he exhibits the worst facet of “new money”. He claims that he raised Gatsby from the “gutters” and in doing so he insinuates that money is everything. “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot” (Pirkei Avot 4:1). As portrayed through this novel, money corrupts both society and class. In the end, the only people that bear happiness are those who are not deluded by riches.
November 16, 2011
The Unscrupulousness of The Roaring Twenties
In his novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby’s parties to present a satirical portrait of the Roaring Twenties. The U.S. faced an enormous economic expansion after World War I, which turned the 1920s into a time of easy money, ample drinking, and sumptuous parties. During this time period people were filled with optimism towards the future, but through this novel, Fitzgerald conveys a darker side of this time period. His portrait of the Roaring Twenties focuses on the hypocrisy and recklessness of the people during that time. While attending a party at Gatsby’s house, Nick observes the luxuriousness of the party. On the outside, the parties seem to hold the fulfillment of the American Dream, but Fitzgerald harshly shows that this is not the case. At the conclusion of the party that night, Nick says goodbye to Gatsby and leaves. On his way back