How Fitzgerald's social commentary is apparent in The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby Map

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How Fitzgerald's social commentary is apparent in The Great Gatsby. by Mind Map: How Fitzgerald's social commentary is apparent in The Great Gatsby.

1. 1. CONTEXT. F Scott Fitzgerald gives a critique of the opulent modus vivendi of the bourgeoise in America. Ironically he lived in the same way as many of the wealthy characters in his novel. Here is a clip explaining the historical context of the era in which the Great Gatsby is set.

2. 2. SOCIAL STATUS. Fitzgerald includes three distinct social classes in the novel portraying the elitism running through society.

2.1. Old Money: These families have had the money for generations They have no need to actually work for a living and living their lives perpetuating their sense of superiority. They have taste style and confidence. They dislike and mistrust New Money They tolerate and use No Money. Characters are; Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker and to a lesser degree Nick Caraway.

2.2. New Money: These people are self-made individuals. Fulfilling the American Dream. How the money has been made can be questionable on occasions. They live life for the moment flashing their prosperity with a luxury lifestyle. Jay Gatsby is the personification of New Money.

2.3. New Money: This is made up of working and middle-class individuals. George and Myrtle Wilson are the two main characters portraying the lower of the three classes. Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder their lives are in sharp contrast the distribution of income and lifestyle.

3. 3. MATERIALISM. Nick's quote "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money........" conveys Fitzgerald's attitude toward the rich of the time. Most of the characters have materialistic flaws. The settings show the lavish and extreme lifestyle of the prosperous Americans.

3.1. Gatsby shows his materialism through amassing wealth in an attempt to gain Daisy. Daisy marries Tom for his money and social status. Tom and Daisy's blase attitude and excessive lifestyle leads to the destruction of the lives around them. Myrtle is prepared to deceive her loving husband to gain the lifestyle she craves without working for it.

3.2. Large houses, mansions and lavish parties where the guests are unaware of who the host is. There is excessive food and alcohol consumed and disregard for property. Cars, boats and even Tom and Daisy's daughter is presented as a commodity.

4. 4. MORAL DECAY.Fitzgerald paints a picture of wealth corrupting people and therefore society.He portrays society having no spiritual or moral value.

4.1. The characters are prepared to commit adultery (Myrtle) or marry (Daisy) for financial gain or status and infidelity is common practice for Tom. Daisy kills Myrtle in the car accident but feels no need to stop the car or accept responsibility for her actions. Daisy and Tom pack up and leave the area because they have the money and connections to do so. Kind hard working Wilson goes on to murder Gatsby because of the actions of Tom,Daisy and Myrtle. Klipspringer is known as Gatsby's 'boarder' and represents the type of freeloaders that frequent the parties. None of the party-goers feel the need to show respect and attend Gatsby's funeral.

4.2. The guest's behaviour at the lavish parties is decadent and reckless at the expense of others. Excessive food and alcohol is consumed. Gatsby befriended shady characters who are involved in bootlegging and illegal gambling (Meyer Wolfsheim is attributed to fixing the 1919 World Series) and as a result he aquires his fortune.