In The Great Gatsby, the lower and social classes are presented as crude and vulgar. How do you respond?
I would define ‘crude’ as a person who lacks intelligence and is underdeveloped; ‘vulgar’ I would define as a person who is unpleasant in their lewd behavior and arrogance. It could be argued that the lower social classes were more crude and vulgar as a result of their poor upbringing and horrid living conditions. However, the personalities and qualities that the upper classes obtained could also be viewed as vulgar.
Myrtle Wilson is one of the few lower class characters in the novella. From early in ‘The Great Gatsby’ Myrtle is viewed as vulgar because she is Tom’s “girl” and is therefore being unfaithful to her husband, George Wilson. This observation is supported by the fact that she was “sitting on Tom’s lap” at the hotel. It was a very vulgar action to commit infidelity in that time period, especially for a woman; they were supposed to remain loyal to their husbands. Myrtle can also be viewed as demanding, she inquires details such as the breed and price of the “bitch” before asking Tom if she could have it. Myrtle is also viewed as crude and vulgar because she is seen in Chapter 2 to be mocking Tom by saying “Daisy, Daisy, Daisy”. This shows she has little respect for Tom who is of a higher social class to her. The character of Daisy supports the view that the lower social classes are presented by Fitzgerald as vulgar and crude.
However, the behavior and presentation of The Buchanans disproves this statement that the lower social classes were crude and vulgar. Daisy is presented by Fitzgerald to be a shallow and “careless” character, who easily can manipulate people to her own advantage. The most obvious event which depicts this presentation is the fact that she did not attend the funeral of Gatsby, of whom she “loved…too”, she didn’t even send a “message or a flower”. Tom Buchanan disproves the statement because ultimately, he was the person...
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