The Role Of Wealth In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby describes the life of Jay Gatsby in the 1920’s. The novel shares his love story and his loneliness. A major question the author raises is how does wealth impact class structure and society? Fitzgerald answers this question through the distinction between “New rich” and “Old rich” and the significance of East and West Egg. In The Great Gatsby the characters in the novel come from various social classes. Nick, Daisy, and Tom are from Wealthy families who have been wealthy for a long time. These characters are referred to as “Old rich” because of their families’ long histories of wealth. Jay Gatsby, unlike Daisy and Tom, did not belong to a wealthy family, and he earns his wealth through his own hard work and success. Although Tom and Gatsby are both wealthy, Tom and the other “Old rich” people look down at Gatsby. They think people like him are of lower class and do not have as many social skills. In addition the “Old rich” class believes they are more refined and elegant while the “New rich” money class overcompensates with purchasing large houses, and spending exorbitant amounts of money. There is also the class that has little money such as the…show more content…
Not only does the amount of wealth affect social class, but the type of wealth also affects it. It even affects where people live and who people marry as seen with Gatsby and Daisy. The characters social standing affect who they interact and how they are perceived by others. Fitzgerald highlights the different class structures like “New rich” and “Old rich” and the impact of wealth on the people’s lives in those classes. He also shows the superficial nature of the characters and highlights the value placed on wealth. Characters like Tom and Daisy are not interested in other character’s personality or ideas, they are solely concerned with the social standing and security provided by one’s
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