Theme Of Classism In F. Scott Fitzgerald's Novel 'The Great Gatsby'

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Money Makers Money during the modern times was a tool used in excess. Also excessive were the means by which people obtained their status and wealth. Liars and cheaters were the only ones who made it during the modern times, building their empires on corrupt foundations. In F. Scott Fitzgerald 's novel, The Great Gatsby, money and status is the primary focus of the characters ' lives. Throughout the novel, the reader discovers how wealth and want eventually corrupts a person, causing him engage in dishonest and immoral practices. First, the characters in this novel make it clear that classism and monetary prejudice lead people to raise their social status, often by illegal means. Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsby’s parties when Tom notes …show more content…
Tom, used to the polite air of old money, regards the newly rich, including Gatsby, with disdain at one of his lavish parties. Gatsby’s desire to attain wealth was corrupted along the way as he participated in illegal ventures, a flaw Tom was keen to point out due to his inbred prejudice due to class. Another example of dishonest practices is seen with Nick’s first thought of Jordan Baker, noting how “[a]t her first big golf tournament…[Jordan] had moved her ball from a bad lie” in order to win the tournament (57). The desire to succeed and to become a popular athlete propelled Jordan to lie and cheat in order to achieve what she wanted. This mindset that Jordan harbors is indicative of the corrupting effects that accompany a want. Additionally, while Jordan, Nick, Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby are at the Plaza Hotel, Tom makes a scene …show more content…
The night Nick is told Gatsby’s real story, Nick remarks how “...[Gatsby] told [his backstory] to me at a time of confusion, when I had reached the point of believing everything and nothing about him” (Fitzgerald 101). Gatsby was an idea, one thought up by James Gatz in an attempt to increase his chances of social mobility. While Nick had always sought to defend Gatsby, believing in his innate goodness, he had been told so many lies, some by Gatsby himself, that a sudden declaration of the truth seemed a lie, as well. For years, Gatsby had been a symbol of wealth, yet because of his lie of life, any relationship he had was also built upon lies. After Myrtle is killed, George goes on about how he told Myrtle, “...’God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing’” before she died (159). Trust is a fundamental building block in any relationship, especially in a marriage; when George finds out about Myrtle’s affair, he is physically sick. Unbeknownst to George, but clearly evident to the reader, Myrtle engaged in the affair in hopes of creating a second life for herself, much like Gatsby did. George, however, notes that Myrtle may have lied to him, but she could never truly hide from God -- George claims that no one may hide his corrupt self from everyone forever. It is interesting to see how two people, Gatsby and Myrtle had both wanted status, whether for

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