The Role Of Social Breakdown In The Great Gatsby

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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” This philosophy Ernest Hemingway proposed perfectly captures the idea of social breakdown in society, especially during the Modernist period in which he lived. In the 1920s, following the First World War, newly established amendments that provided women’s suffrage and enacted prohibition changed how Americans socially acted. These same social changes that break down society appear in The Great Gatsby, a modernist novel set in the early 1920s written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. Throughout the book, the people of the upper social class are represented in their own broken social lives. The Great Gatsby demonstrates the social breakdown through the conceptions of relationships and the corrupting desire for wealth. Gatsby is consumed throughout the story by his desire for Daisy and her luxurious nature. Conflicted with his own past for being his self proclaimed reason for the loss of Daisy, Gatsby makes it his pursuit to climb the socioeconomic ladder of society in order to impress Daisy. He is so desperate, in fact, that he is willing to tear apart a relationship between her and Tom Buchanan. Love, undermined by greed and social desires, is shown…show more content…
This quote from the Bible perfectly portrays the broken social situation of wealth in the modernist era. For example, Gatsby throws extravagant parties to enlighten his mansion with people and to make him feel more complete. Though every party makes him feel social, he is still very lonely without Daisy or some other love to complete him, something money could never satisfy, even though he believes it could. Gatsby navigated his priorities down a path of sorrow, incomplete of true relationships despite all the people around
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