The Great Gatsby Social Stratification Essay

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As stated by Lionel Trilling, a leading American critic of the twentieth century, The Great Gatsby “comes inevitably to stand for America itself”. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel describes a poignant love story of Jay Gatsby, who devotes his entire life acquiring wealth and status to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby is often considered as a “Great American Novel”, though other opinions are present as well. Some critics despise the book for its deficient character developments, while some refer to it as an average book since the plot is too dramatic and unrealistic. However, because of its portrayal of American Dream and social stratification behind the story, the novel deserves to be rated as one of the finest …show more content…
Fitzgerald surely defines each character with a class label and the difficulty of neglecting one’s social background. As an illustration, in spite of the amount of wealth Gatsby possesses, he is viewed as a social inferior by the Buchanans. Evidently, social background is even more important than the material wealth in regard to social status. Moreover, Tom and Daisy Buchanan represent the careless and selfish upper-upper class. Towards the end of the novel, Tom and Daisy “retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness” after wounding so many people, including the deaths of George Wilson and Jay Gatsby (Fitzgerald, 191). Likewise, all upper-class members in the novel are portrayed as irresponsible and immoral. Because of their social background, they enjoy the privilege of living in a world where others are responsible for the consequences of their actions. Comparably, the American society in the Roaring Twenties are also full of emptiness. People are sacrificing their own moral ethics to reach a higher class, just as Gatsby in the novel. All in all, The Great Gatsby perfectly illustrates the class differences in the United States in the 1920s where crossing the boundaries of social class is nearly

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