Class Struggle In The Great Gatsby

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The Rich Stay Rich, the Poor stay Poor: Class Struggle in The Great Gatsby “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” In no other place does this quote ring more true than in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby. At its core, The Great Gatsby is a novel about class struggle; the rich stay rich, while the poor, through the misguided ideals of the American Dream, attempt and fail to progress up the ranks of society. Fitzgerald’s blend of plot and stylistic choices combine to create a vivid picture of the lives of the rich during 1920’s America; the vieux rich become above all other forms of authority, and abusively exert their influence onto those less fortunate than themselves. The Great…show more content…
Geographic divisions such as the Valley of Ashes, East Egg, and West Egg segregate the characters into one of two classes; those who were born with money, and those who weren’t. The Valley of Ashes is a byproduct of the lifestyle of the rich, conveying all of the destruction that their reckless lifestyle causes, and is inhabited by what the vieux riche view as the “garbage” of society, namely George and Myrtle Wilson, who receive much abuse at the hands of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. East and West Egg, despite the denizens of both being extremely wealthy, also have divides that Fitzgerald emphasizes in order to demonstrate the differences between the vieux riche and the “lower class”, including even the nouveau riche. East Egg outshines every other location in terms of sheer opulence; in comparison, even the extraordinarily wealthy West Egg seems penniless (5). Fitzgerald’s inclusion of geographic locations separate the characters into two distinct classes who struggle for power, where the vieux riche emerge triumphant not due to their actions, but due to their ability to oppress those lower than
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