The Intertwining Truth

Topics: Social class, Nouveau riche, Sociology Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: June 1, 2013
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fizgerald, status plays a major role for Gatsby as it paints a social barrier between him and the East eggers and highlights his ambition to climb the hierarchy of societal status to try to obtain Daisy. The societies of East and West Egg are deeply divided by the difference between the “nouveau riche” and the older moneyed families. Gatsby is aware of the existence of a class structure in America, because a true meritocracy would put him in touch with some of the finest people, but, as things stand, he is held at arm's length. For the "old money" people, the fact that Gatsby has only just recently acquired his money is enough reason to dislike him. In their way of thinking, he can't possibly have the same refinement, sensibility, and taste they have. Not only does he work for a living, but he comes from a descent of low-class background which, in their opinion, means he cannot possibly be like them. The citizens of East Egg are judgmental and superficial, failing to look at the essence of the people around them (and themselves, too). Instead, they live their lives in such a way as to perpetuate their sense of superiority — however unrealistic that may be. Yet, Gatsby is totally blinded by this perception and tries desperately to fake his status, even buying “British shirts” and claiming to have attended Oxford in an attempt to justify his position in society. Gatsby is influenced by the eastern society and thrives to obtain their status by throwing lavish parties in which he uses his “Rolls-Royce as an omnibus” to attract individuals from all over Long Island; the “newly rich” but also those of antediluvian wealth. His display of his excessive amount of money is an attempt to pave a bridge to be accepted by those who have an aristocratic pedigree and in order to acquire Daisy to pronounce her love for him. However, Gatsby fails to recognize that no amount of new money can be used to buy an entry into the exclusive, “a...
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