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Fitzgerald Wealth


Submitted By lele187
Words 281
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Explore how Fitzgerald presents wealth and social status in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby.

Fitzgerald shows wealth and social status to be two defining elements within society in the 1920s however, Nick is the anomaly in this equation as he doesn’t conform to society’s pre-determined and dictated way of life.

Fitzgerald shows through the vulgarity of Gatsby`s mansion that wealth was very much defined by how lavish your possessions were. Gatsby, being new money, didn’t care for social pressures and chose to live a life of decadence and extravagance by living in a `colossal` `imitation` of a house. Although it is lavish and `spanking new` there’s an air of tastelessness and begins to show Gatsby`s lack of sophistication. The fact its an `imitation` suggests that its not only the house that’s trying to be a replica it could also be Gatsby himself trying to be big, bold and brash in a desperate attempt to be noticed by Daisy. Gatsby`s mansion is a reflection of himself, the house is `new` much like Gatsby to having an abundance of wealth and they both lack a character and charm that those who were born with money had already acquired. Fitzgerald once again compares Gatsby to his mansion through his use of personification in the phrase `a thin beard of raw ivy` as this suggest that Gatsby has attempted at social climbing but much like the `thin beard` he hasn’t prospered. This has connotations of vulnerability and causes the reader to consider Gatsby as weak and feeble as he tries to hide his embarrassment at not reaching the top despite his attempts, much like the `raw ivy` creeping up his

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