Great Gatsby – Quotes – Class and Society

“sense of fundamental decencies.” Nick is making the point that class does not necessarily define the way in which people act. This is shown by the reckless behaviour of Tom and Daisy.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember the advantages that you’ve had…” In consequence I’m inclined to reserve all judgments. Nicks declares that people should try not to be judgmental and pursuades the reader that his view is not prejudiced. However, this is very ironic as the whole novel is full of his own judgements.
“When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.” After the events that allowed Nick to realise that his experiences in New York lead to a strong negative reaction and eventually returns to the Midwest in search of a less morally ambiguous environment. The diction of words like “uniform” and ” moral attention” create a militaristic picture in the readers mind and stands in stark contrast with morally ambiguous New York that has no clear right or wrong.
not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.” That Daisy was a creature of her environment a by product
“After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction.” Nick view is distorted of what is right and wrong, he admires gusty ability to be able to set his own future.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, Once again Nick questions whether class is important his description of tom and daisy as care lee implies that despite their immense inherited wealth, there hedonistic futile view of life inhibits them.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. Fitzgerald makes the clear connection between the American dream and Gatsby’s dream. Gatsby’s dream only acts as a symbol for the overarching idea of the American dream that led to a corrupt, materialistic and amoral society that was obsessed with wealth and status.
“He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.” This not only shows how Wilson is oblivious to the fact that his wife is Tom’s mistress but reinforces Tom’s elitism towards people how are inferior in terms of either status or wealth. This elitism ultimately contributed to Gatsby’s downfall
“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Tom and Diays who were born to a family with material wealth and status are not “worth” anything. But gatsby -despite his illegal means of deriving that money- is. Fitzgerald emphasises the inner hollowness that the upper class hides with their high social status and material luxury.
“He was a son of God…So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.” Nick uses a striking metaphor to compare Gatsby to Jeseus Christ to highlight Gatsby’s creation of his current identity. Gatsby transforms himself into the ideal that he envisioned for himself as a youngster(a “Platonic conception of himself”) and remains committed to that ideal, despite the obstacles that society presents to the fulfillment of his dream. Regardless of his fate of how he achieves this dream, this is the value- the vaue of determination and his “extraordinary gift for hope”- that we use to justify why Gatsby is Great.
“What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon,” cried Daisy, “and the day after that, and the next thirty years?” Daisy tries to work up the courage to tell Tom she wants to leave him, we get another instance of her struggling to find meaning and purpose in her life. Beneath Daisy’s cheerful exterior, there is a deep sadness, even nihilism, in her outlook
I told that boy about the ice.” Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. “These people! You have to keep after them all the time. Myrtle highlights the rigidity of the class system being lower middle class, she threw affair with term sees a means to move up, Myrtle distanced herself from moral obligation by cheating on her husband -as long as it lead to the lifestyle she desired – she is perceived by Tom’s circle as the class of women you sleep with.
I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. The comparison of inherited wealth and earned wealth.
Fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth That Morality is not just deemed to class. Nick respects Gatsby’s ability to aspire to be more then what he started out being, but equal Nick is repulsed by the manner in which Tom and Daisy act to a certain extent.
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” This is an early example of Jordan’s unexpectedly clever observations – throughout the novel she reveals a quick wit and keen eye for detail in social situations.This comment also sets the stage for the novel’s chief affair between Daisy and Gatsby, and how at the small party in Chapter 7 their secrets come out to disastrous effect.

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