1. Individual vs. society
Gatsby vs. the American society in 1920s
From Nick’s perspective, Gatsby might have made vast fortune by illegal means and is capable of behaving like an aristocrat, he is still not respected as the ‘old money’ from East Egg; Gatsby’s mansion, his shimmering parties, fancy clothes and cars, cannot erase his past as a low-born farmer’s son after all. He dreams to be recognized as one of the upper-class people, but is frequently looked down by people like Tom Buchanan and the Sloanes who was born noble and is accustomed to live a luxurious life. Gatsby’s struggle to be among a higher social class is conflict with what he really is; therefore he cannot be seen and treated equally. His tragedy is an evidence of himself being an victim of the society he lived in, where social classes were considered more valuable than one’s inner spirit and materialism was concerned way more than humanity.
2. Characters vs. character
Gatsby vs. Tom
First of all, Gatsby represents the new money and Tom represents the old money. While Gatsby acquired his money by doing illegal businesses, Tom only inherited his money without putting efforts. Nevertheless, Tom still feel privileged over Gatsby due to his favorable family background. This is the first conflict. Second, Gatsby and Tom compete with each other for winning Daisy’s love. While Gatsby represents the past of Daisy – the more innocent and perhaps the ideal of Daisy, Tom represents the reality of her – the cynicism and materialism inside of her.
Nick vs. Jordan
While Nick’s character stands for the idea of justice and honesty, Jordan’s character is just the opposite. Her cynicism, carelessness and dishonesty is shown clearly through the conversation she had with Nick about driving a car, where Nick describes Jordan as a careless, ‘rotten’ driver’ (‘It takes two to make an accident.’ Said Jordan. ‘Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself.’ Said Nick. ‘I hope I never will.” Said...
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