The Great Gatsby Wealth Analysis

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In many literary works, the wealthy are generally depicted as pretentious or cruel and authors tend to portray their personalities through various methods. In his work The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses literary techniques to distinctly characterize the wealthy. Doing so helps him communicate the work’s theme on the soulless nature of the affluent. Fitzgerald conveys his message by incorporating juxtaposition, effective diction, and suiting moods with his characters. The author characterizes the wealthy by juxtaposing Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby, the two affluent characters in the novel. Fitzgerald juxtaposes them by first revealing both as wealthy, introducing them closely, and highlighting their different natures through how they earned their wealth and through the plot to show how the wealthy class with old money is soulless. Although both Tom and Gatsby are prosperous, only Tom is depicted as heartless since he has old money and was in the wealthy class his entire life. Gatsby, however, has new money and since he earned it, he is not described as soulless because he wasn’t always in the wealthy class to where he is adapted their heartless nature. These differences correlate with their personality and with how Fitzgerald condemns the wealthy with old money as callous. Fitzgerald first introduces Tom to be affluent and insensitive, which follows the work’s message. Shortly after, the author introduces Gatsby to also be wealthy but this time more respected and
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