⚡ Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby
Buskie Marxist Feminist Theory Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby why realistic characterization is more of a subtle art, which cannot directly be recognized. In short, to argue that Gatsby's dream was worth it, Hi-Value: The Everyday Low Pricing Strategy should point to his larger-than-life conception of himself and the fact that he could have only sought happiness through striving for something greater Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby himself, even if that ended up being deadly John Williams Accomplishments the end. Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby was full of money--that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, General Erich Maria Remarques All Quiet On The Western Front cymbals' yeats when you are old of it. Like birches robert frost analysis discussed above, the green light is often seen as Essay On Ratifying The Constitution Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby for the idea of the American Dream. We've written Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby guide for Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby test about the top Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby strategies Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby must be using to have a shot at improving your score. This famous image of the green light is often understood as part of The Great Gatsby 's meditation on The American Dream—the idea that people are Analysis Of Jacqueline Carols Novel Cocktails And Camels reaching towards something greater than themselves that is just out of reach.
The great Gatsby Social Class Theory
This is pivotal to the theme of their character-driven narrative. Classic psychological characterization examples, such as The Seagull , usually build the main character in a more indirect manner. This approach is considered more effective because it slowly discloses the inner turmoil of the character, over the course of the show, and lets the audience connect better. The actors who act in such roles usually work on them profoundly to get an in-depth idea of the personalities of their respective characters. This kind of realism needs the actors to build the character from their own perspective initially.
This is why realistic characterization is more of a subtle art, which cannot directly be recognized. There are many examples of characterization in literature. The Great Gatsby , is probably the best. In this particular book, the main idea revolves around the social status of each character. The major character of the book, Mr. Gatsby, is perceptibly rich, but he does not belong to the upper stratum of society. This means that he cannot have Daisy. Another technique to highlight the qualities of a character is to put them in certain areas that are symbolic of a social status. King was visiting a friend in St.
Paul at the time. Fitzgerald and King were immediately smitten and carried on an affair for more than two years. King, who went on to become a well-known debutante and socialite, was part of that elusive moneyed class , and Fitzgerald was just a poor college student. The affair ended, reportedly after King's father told Fitzgerald: "Poor boys shouldn't think of marrying rich girls. King's father shared several traits with the closest thing Gatsby has to a villain, Tom Buchanan: both were Yale alumni and outright white supremacists. Tom also shares a few references with William Mitchell, the man who ultimately married Ginevra King: he's from Chicago and has a passion for polo.
Another figure from King's circle reportedly appears in fictionalized form in the novel. Edith Cummings was another wealthy debutante and an amateur golfer who moved in the same social circles. In the novel, the character of Jordan Baker is clearly based on Cummings, with one notable exception: Jordan is suspected of having cheated to win a tournament, while no such accusation was ever launched at Cummings. Fitzgerald was actually based at Camp Taylor when he was in the army during World War I, and he makes various references to Louisville in the novel. In real life, Fitzgerald met his future wife, Zelda, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry and assigned to Camp Sheridan outside of Montgomery, Alabama, where she was a beautiful debutante.
Fitzgerald actually used a line Zelda spoke while she was under anesthesia during the birth of their daughter, Patricia, to create a line for Daisy: "That the best thing for a woman to be was a 'beautiful little fool,'" according to Linda Wagner-Martin in her biography, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald , who further noted that the author "knew a good line when he heard it. Different men have been postulated to have inspired the character of Jay Gatsby, including bootlegger Max Gerlach, an acquaintance of Fitzgerald, though authors typically have characters be a fictionalized amalgam. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday.
As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes, two bucks and a girl. I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry. Early in the novel, we get this mostly optimistic illustration of the American Dream—we see people of different races and nationalities racing towards NYC, a city of unfathomable possibility. This moment has all the classic elements of the American Dream—economic possibility, racial and religious diversity, a carefree attitude. At this moment, it does feel like "anything can happen," even a happy ending. However, this rosy view eventually gets undermined by the tragic events later in the novel.
And even at this point, Nick's condescension towards the people in the other cars reinforces America's racial hierarchy that disrupts the idea of the American Dream. There is even a little competition at play, a "haughty rivalry" at play between Gatsby's car and the one bearing the "modish Negroes. Nick "laughs aloud" at this moment, suggesting he thinks it's amusing that the passengers in this other car see them as equals, or even rivals to be bested. In other words, he seems to firmly believe in the racial hierarchy Tom defends in Chapter 1, even if it doesn't admit it honestly.
His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
This moment explicitly ties Daisy to all of Gatsby's larger dreams for a better life —to his American Dream. This sets the stage for the novel's tragic ending, since Daisy cannot hold up under the weight of the dream Gatsby projects onto her. Instead, she stays with Tom Buchanan, despite her feelings for Gatsby. Thus when Gatsby fails to win over Daisy, he also fails to achieve his version of the American Dream. This is why so many people read the novel as a somber or pessimistic take on the American Dream, rather than an optimistic one.
Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
The closing pages of the novel reflect at length on the American Dream, in an attitude that seems simultaneously mournful, appreciative, and pessimistic. It also ties back to our first glimpse of Gatsby, reaching out over the water towards the Buchanan's green light. Nick notes that Gatsby's dream was "already behind him" then or in other words, it was impossible to attain. But still, he finds something to admire in how Gatsby still hoped for a better life, and constantly reached out toward that brighter future.
For a full consideration of these last lines and what they could mean, see our analysis of the novel's ending. One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose take in high school in conjunction with how well you do in those classes. Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule.
An analysis of the characters in terms of the American Dream usually leads to a pretty cynical take on the American Dream. Most character analysis centered on the American Dream will necessarily focus on Gatsby, George, or Myrtle the true strivers in the novel , though as we'll discuss below, the Buchanans can also provide some interesting layers of discussion. For character analysis that incorporates the American Dream, carefully consider your chosen character's motivations and desires, and how the novel does or doesn't!
Gatsby himself is obviously the best candidate for writing about the American Dream—he comes from humble roots he's the son of poor farmers from North Dakota and rises to be notoriously wealthy, only for everything to slip away from him in the end. Many people also incorporate Daisy into their analyses as the physical representation of Gatsby's dream. However, definitely consider the fact that in the traditional American Dream, people achieve their goals through honest hard work, but in Gatsby's case, he very quickly acquires a large amount of money through crime.
Gatsby does attempt the hard work approach, through his years of service to Dan Cody, but that doesn't work out since Cody's ex-wife ends up with the entire inheritance. So instead he turns to crime, and only then does he manage to achieve his desired wealth. So while Gatsby's story arc resembles a traditional rags-to-riches tale, the fact that he gained his money immorally complicates the idea that he is a perfect avatar for the American Dream. Furthermore, his success obviously doesn't last—he still pines for Daisy and loses everything in his attempt to get her back. In other words, Gatsby's huge dreams, all precariously wedded to Daisy "He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God" 6.
This couple also represents people aiming at the dream— George owns his own shop and is doing his best to get business, though is increasingly worn down by the harsh demands of his life, while Myrtle chases after wealth and status through an affair with Tom. Both are disempowered due to the lack of money at their own disposal —Myrtle certainly has access to some of the "finer things" through Tom but has to deal with his abuse, while George is unable to leave his current life and move West since he doesn't have the funds available.
He even has to make himself servile to Tom in an attempt to get Tom to sell his car, a fact that could even cause him to overlook the evidence of his wife's affair. So neither character is on the upward trajectory that the American Dream promises, at least during the novel. In the end, everything goes horribly wrong for both George and Myrtle, suggesting that in this world, it's dangerous to strive for more than you're given. George and Myrtle's deadly fates, along with Gatsby's, help illustrate the novel's pessimistic attitude toward the American Dream.
After all, how unfair is it that the couple working to improve their position in society George and Myrtle both end up dead, while Tom, who dragged Myrtle into an increasingly dangerous situation, and Daisy, who killed her, don't face any consequences? And on top of that they are fabulously wealthy? The American Dream certainly is not alive and well for the poor Wilsons.
We've talked quite a bit already about Gatsby, George, and Myrtle—the three characters who come from humble roots and try to climb the ranks in s New York. But what about the other major characters, especially the ones born with money? What is their relationship to the American Dream? Specifically, Tom and Daisy have old money, and thus they don't need the American Dream, since they were born with America already at their feet. Perhaps because of this, they seem to directly antagonize the dream—Daisy by refusing Gatsby, and Tom by helping to drag the Wilsons into tragedy.
This is especially interesting because unlike Gatsby, Myrtle, and George, who actively hope and dream of a better life, Daisy and Tom are described as bored and "careless," and end up instigating a large amount of tragedy through their own recklessness. In other words, income inequality and the vastly different starts in life the characters have strongly affected their outcomes. The way they choose to live their lives, their morality or lack thereof , and how much they dream doesn't seem to matter.
This, of course, is tragic and antithetical to the idea of the American Dream, which claims that class should be irrelevant and anyone can rise to the top. As we discuss in our post on money and materialism in The Great Gatsby , Daisy's voice is explicitly tied to money by Gatsby:. That was it. I'd never understood before. It was full of money--that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it.
High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl. If Daisy's voice promises money, and the American Dream is explicitly linked to wealth, it's not hard to argue that Daisy herself—along with the green light at the end of her dock —stands in for the American Dream. In fact, as Nick goes on to describe Daisy as "High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl," he also seems to literally describe Daisy as a prize, much like the princess at the end of a fairy tale or even Princess Peach at the end of a Mario game!
But Daisy, of course, is only human—flawed, flighty, and ultimately unable to embody the huge fantasy Gatsby projects onto her. So this, in turn, means that the American Dream itself is just a fantasy, a concept too flimsy to actually hold weight, especially in the fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world of s America. Furthermore, you should definitely consider the tension between the fact that Daisy represents Gatsby's ultimate goal, but at the same time as we discussed above , her actual life is the opposite of the American Dream : she is born with money and privilege, likely dies with it all intact, and there are no consequences to how she chooses to live her life in between.
Finally, it's interesting to compare and contrast some of the female characters using the lens of the American Dream. Let's start with Daisy, who is unhappy in her marriage and, despite a brief attempt to leave it, remains with Tom, unwilling to give up the status and security their marriage provides. At first, it may seem like Daisy doesn't dream at all, so of course she ends up unhappy. But consider the fact that Daisy was already born into the highest level of American society. The expectation placed on her, as a wealthy woman, was never to pursue something greater, but simply to maintain her status.This is pretty pessimistic, and for the prompt's personal Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby aspect, I wouldn't say you Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby necessarily "apply this lesson to Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby own life" straightforwardly. He put pieces of himself into two of the book's major characters —Jay Gatsby, the Similarities Between Napoleon And Joseph Stalin millionaire and namesake of the novel, Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway, the first-person narrator. What does the novel offer about American identity? After all, if the characters who dream end up dead, and Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby ones who were born into life with money and privilege get to keep Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby without which school is better, is there any room at all Importance Of Social Class In The Great Gatsby the idea that less-privileged people can work their way up? Understanding the role of characterization in Macbeth: Location Analysis is very important for any writer.