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What are the themes of The Great Gatsby? Show more Show less
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is a set in New York City during the 1920s: a time of youth, wealth, and prohibition. There are several timeless themes such as love, wealth, and death. Other themes are more specific to the era like the materialism of the Roaring Twenties and social class.

The Great Gatsby is about social class Show more Show less

The characters are concerned about their position in society and how others perceive them.
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Jay Gatsby's rise to wealth and popularity shows that social class is the theme of the Great Gatsby

Gatsby started as a "penniless young man" then grew in wealth and society.
Books Education Literature Reading The Great Gatsby

The Argument

Jay Gatsby did not become wealthy until he was in his adult life. He grew up poor in the Midwestern United States. Then, he learned the workings of the upper class while working on a boat. After serving in World War I, he began to earn money and a place in high society. Gatsby earned his income through the illegal business of bootlegging. Despite being criminal, he was able to become rich quickly, which allowed him to move to New York to find Daisy. His story of rags to riches proves the theme of social class. It is what motivates characters since they are constantly trying to move higher in society.

Counter arguments

The characters do not care about social class since they are already at the top of society. They know that their wealth and social connections will keep them in the upper class, so they don't have to worry about their status. Gatsby used his popularity in order to win back Daisy, not because he cared about being in the upper class.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Gatsby went from poor to rich. [P2] The characters care about being in the upper class. [P3] Therefore, the theme of The Great Gatsby is social class.

Rejecting the premises

References

This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 13:06 UTC

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