Critical Lens Essay The Great Gatsby

Critical Lens Essay The Great Gatsby-7
Scott Fitzgerald characterizes the citizens of East Egg as careless in some form.At one point in the book, Nick says “in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.” It is because of their belief of superiority that they deem themselves better than other and allows them to live so carelessly.This viewpoint is only highlighted through a Marxist critical approach.

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The Wilsons, being the “base of society” work laboriously in order to produce the goods; “mode of production” , in order to further the needs of the bourgeoisie.

This evident class struggle is highlighted by Marxist teachings upon Capitalism. He himself can be seen as unreliable as he states “What he really said was...” after already quoting the butler to have said different.

Conversely, Marxist theory states that “the way we think….largely conditioned by the way the economy is organized” and that the economy is the “base of society” .

These beliefs are evident within the Great Gatsby when considering the role of the Wilson’s to that of the Buchanan’s and indeed Gatsby.His move East and his habitual attitude to follow the American Dream, highlight the desperate nature of the time.The decline in the Jazz age is evident within Nick’s steadfastness, as it is highlighted that he has merely been turned into a mode of production. Nick’s job is to think he is free, whilst at the same time produce an account interpolating events.The possession the men have over their wives or friends is shown when the man 's name is written first, or the women are called “his girl” instead of being their own, independent person.Yes, women could vote, drink, smoke, and party, however, despite all this newfound freedom, they were still seen as belonging to men, or below men.Karl Marx wrote in his 1859 ‘Towards a Critique of Political Economy’ that “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness”.By stating this, Marx sheds light into the workings of ‘The Great Gatsby’ thus showing that the social circumstances in which the characters find themselves define them, and that these circumstances consist of core Marxist principles a Capitalistic society.Fitzgerald anticipated the collapse of capitalism and indeed of the West itself; the great depression, after reading theories by scholars such as Marx and Nietzsche. This sense of unreliability highlights the Marxist critical approach.Fitzgerald compares the demise of capitalism, represented by the bourgeoisie of the novel, by stating in the ‘Early Success’, that “my millionaires were as doomed Thomas Hardy’s peasants”, thus showing a stringent parallel between class struggles in the nineteenth and twentieth c... Nick, by writing an account feel he is free, but as Marx points out, he only thinks he is.Acts of independence like flapper dresses and bobbed hair masked the truth- despite everything, men viewed women and women viewed themselves as lesser beings than men.Whether Fitzgerald wrote the story to reflect the views of society, or they were his true thoughts on women, the narration and characters reflect the redefinition of gender discrimination.

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