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Jay Gatsby and Society in "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Great Gatsby

In the novel, The Great Gatsby the author creates a corruptive and harmful society for the protagonist Jay Gatsby. He fails in multiple instances throughout the novel to reach success. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel Jay Gatsby gets inescapably pressured by society and is corrupted. Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy ended up going on hold due to his overseas shipment to the Army during World War 1. When he returned from the Army he was persistent and determined to go up in social standards so he could stand out to Daisy and so that he could win her over. Although Gatsby was very tenacious in his attempts to acquire money he failed to do so legally, so he began bootlegging, and taking part in other illegal activities.

Gatsby began to hold parties in his mansion due his failure in getting legal money, but succeeding in getting money illegally. This goes to show that the 1920s, otherwise known as the Roaring 20s, were a time period when the culture was based of wealth and social status. Gatsby went to extremes to gain his place in his societies social scale. He partook in mysterious activities such, gambling, and bootlegging. Jay Gatsby was someone who honored his country in World War 1, and following the war went as low as he needed in order to achieve his dream of being together with Daisy. The standards of this time period show that if your not at the top of the social spectrum you won’t achieve your dreams or gain respect from society. Also in the novel a frequency is the amount of lies told about personal history mainly with regards to Jay Gatsby. Gatsby was essentially letting people use his house for parties, and was fine with that, and the fact that they knew nothing valid about him. He makes it known that he “went to Oxford”.

Throughout the story it becomes known that Gatsby is not comfortable in his own skin, and doesn’t believe that he is capable of achieving anything as his true self. Through those types of scenarios, Fitzgerald paints the upper class and those aspiring to become part of the elite in a negative light. When only Nick, Gatsby’s father, and a few of his servants attend Jay Gatsby’s funeral, it’s evidence that he leaves no lasting memory behind in the constantly forward-moving world. This ties dissatisfaction with the empty culture with the idea that focusing on greed and obtaining more does not breed personal connection. Gatsby was satisfied with not being himself, getting illegal money, and keeping his circle small.

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Jay Gatsby and Society in “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. (2019, November 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from
“Jay Gatsby and Society in “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.” GradesFixer, 26 Nov. 2019,
Jay Gatsby and Society in “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2021].
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