F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a true reflection of the so-called “Roaring 20’s”. He illustrates the underlying struggle between socioeconomic classes with character such as Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, in addition to, Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Both of the Buchanans take advantage of their affairs due to their wealthy background and Fitzgerald uses them to critique the conflicts between the upper and lower class. For example, while Tom Buchanan lives in the luxurious community of East Egg, his mistress Myrtle Wilson resides in the Valley of Ashes.
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Not only does Tom use Myrtle for his own pleasure, he physically abuses her *inset quote about tom break myrtle’s nose*. The physical conflict between Tom and Myrtle serves as a metaphor to the conflicts between the wealthy and the poor. While residents of the East Egg, such as Tom, enjoy their lavish lifestyle, the lack of opportunities for success in lower socioeconomic classes restrict communities from flourishing. As a result, people such as Myrtle are often taken advantage without even knowing it. They also become collateral damage, evident in the car crash that killed Myrtle, in conflicts regarding the struggle for power. Fitzgerald highlights Tom’s power over Myrtle’s physical well-being in order to illustrate how wealth often seems to be interchangeable with power.
However, Tom is not the only East Egg resident who abuses and finds their wealth equivalent to their power. Decades later, Daisy Buchanan’s charm continues to entrance Jay Gatsby. Yet, unlike Myrtle Wilson, Gatsby represents West Egg’s wealthy class, notorious for its lesser value in comparison to the East Egg. Daisy leads Gatsby on to thinking they have a chance to be together, but in the end crushes his dreams by telling him she can’t leave Tom insert quote about gatsby and daisy on stairs and shes like “uh ya no i love tom”. In the end, it was Daisy’s choice that would determine Gatsby’s future. In spite of Gatsby’s efforts to climb up the socioeconomic ladder, Fitzgerald forces his audience to question the validity of the American dream because Gatsby was never considered equal to or worthy of in Daisy’s eyes.
Again, Fitzgerald uses the emotional struggle between two characters of differing class to reflect the tension between the wealthy and poor in addition to the grim atmosphere during the 20s. Fitzgerald highlights how wealth and power went hand in hand, damaging the welfare of the lower class during the early 20th centuries. Not only does Fitzgerald emphasize the struggle between the wealthy and the poor, but notes that there is never any confrontation within the inherently wealthy class. But, as seen in Daisy’s decision to stay with Tom, despite his character, Fitzgerald characterizes the wealthy as passive aggressive, yet loyal when it comes to people who come from the same background as they do.
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The Great Gatsby Reflection. (2022, Jan 31).
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