Materialism In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby offers up a social commentary on various aspects of the 1920s society such as injustice, betrayal and corruption of the American Dream. Of all the themes, the one that is the most developed is that of social stratification and inequality. One could say that he makes a distinction of groups to send a strong message about the moral character of each social strata. The social elite, that is divided into “Old Money” and “New Money” is represented as materialistic, superficial and morally corrupted. Fitzgerald’s purpose is mainly to portray the reality of his time that impurity and greed of individuals lead to the downfall of society. By depicting the social elite as materialists Fitzgerald introduces the social crisis, the side effects of industrialization and economic development of the 1920s. The social group that is defined as the upper class includes Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Jay Gatsby and their associates. The theme of materialism is evident even from the first chapter of the novel, where Nick, the narrator, offers a description of the excessively luxurious Buchanan’s house . Exaggerated projections such as buying “a string of polo ponies” (Fitzgerald: 8) for entertainment characterize the upper class and especially the Buchanans themselves, who represent “Old Money” . When Tom married Daisy “he came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Muhlbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding
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