“How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?” In the Great Gatsby

Topics: Social class, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 4 (1150 words) Published: February 14, 2014
Written Task 2!
IB English!
Robby Burns!


I have chosen to answer the prescribed question, “How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?”. The text that will be analyzed is The Great Gatsby and the part of the course that will be dealt with is literature and critical study. The task will focus on a few main themes of the book, mainly, the hollowness of the upper class. The social group that will be analyzed is the upper class but more specifically, the newly rich. The newly rich have a weird social stature at this time where many lower class people were making money but did not hold the same power as families with long histories of riches. In order to analyze this class, the other two classes, old rich and poor, will be discussed as well.!

Word Count: 1,000!


The Great Gatsby offers the idea that the social classes, although different, are similar in

many ways. All of the classes deal with obstacles towards total happiness and even the extremely rich are not as happy as they may seem. This theme of a “hollow” upperclass is persistent throughout the book and is one of the key ideas that author F Scott Fitzgerald tries to pass across to the reader. Fitzgerald’s time was one characterized by a change in social class, the post World War I boom had caused many, formerly poor people, to become wealthy. Fitzgerald contrasted the qualities of the “newly rich” class with the old rich class in order to show how different they really were.!


The three sub settings of the book were: West Egg, East Egg, and the Valley of Ashes.

West Egg is where the newly rich class lives, whereas the old rich live in East Egg and the poor live in the Valley of Ashes. The segregation of the three different classes is the first way that Fitzgerald showed the division between the old and new rich classes. The division is obviously

not by law but the fact that it occurs tells us something about the differences of the two. The...
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