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The Great Gatsby - a Caste System Based on Wealth

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.2 
  • Words: 348
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“My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out” (Ronald Reagan). In today’s world, numerous caste systems are evident. Each and every man is part of a caste system. Which system, however, is determined by a person’s lifestyle, morality, and social status. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, an individual’s placement in the caste system is determined solely by his wealth.

Mr. Gatsby and his enormous wealth represent the top of the caste system. In the beginning of the novel, many of the characters meet at one of Gatsby’s notorious parties. Gatsby holds these celebrations to demonstrate his wealth. It is apparent that many who attend view themselves as being below Gatsby in the caste system and envy his placement.

The scene of Daisy crying over Gatsby’s collection of shirts symbolizes her regret of marrying Tom as she realizes how her life could have been. If Daisy would have waited for Gatsby to return from the war, she could have been at the top of the caste system with Gatsby. Instead, she is now moderately placed within. Daisy discovers that her mistake has cost her superiority.

Many of the characters throughout the novel show absolutely no amount of morality or responsibility. Myrtle, Tom, and Daisy are all unfaithful to their spouses. To make the matter worse, none show any remorse about what they have done. Some even flaunt their extramarital affairs. The characters’ only concern is their outward appearance of wealth.

Within the novel, characters are established lacking morality. A caste system based exclusively on wealth is demonstrated by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. “Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals,” once said the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. No matter where or why this goal is set, one will always seek to achieve...


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