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Free Great Gatsby Essays: Social Attitudes

Social Attitudes Represented in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald

This novel is in general about middle and upper class American citizens and their lives a few years after the first world war had concluded. The author, a World War I veteran himself, shows insight into the lives and minds of American soldiers who fought in Europe during the conflict and the interesting experiences some may have had in the years following their return. Through written conversation, the novel deals with many of the social attitudes and ideas that prevailed during the early 20’s.

Historical facts are cleverly infused into the body of the novel that gives the reader an authentic and classic impression of the story. A clear view of the discrimination that existed in that time period against non-whites and women was evident by the time the conclusion of the book was reached. For instance, a conversation takes place between characters in the novel in which civilization is said to be going to pieces as a result of “The Rise of the Coloured Empires”. Women are also constantly referred to as “girls”.

Also incorporated, was an interesting but sometimes uneventful sub-plot of a man’s extreme love for a woman and the catastrophic events that take place as a result. This was indicative of many people of the day who had a spouse but also maintained a relationship outside of the marrage.

The plot centres on a fictional World War I army veteran named Nick Carraway. After his involvement in the war on the allied side with a machine gun battalion, he returned to his home in Chicago. With no clear direction of what he wanted to do with his life, he decided to move to New York to enter into the business of selling bonds. He settled down on an area of Long Island called West Egg, directly beside a more fashionable area of Long Island called West Egg. Across from him lived a rich man named Jay Gatsby who also was a World War I vet. Not far away lived a married couple Daisy and Tom Buchanan which he knew relatively well. It was at their residence that he met a woman, Jordan Baker, who was to become his good friend and later his girl friend. Carraway soon became a good friend with his rich neighbour next door, Gatsby, and soon was exposed to many rumours about this man which caused him to question his relationship with him.

Daisy Buchanan’s Role in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In one of the greatest works of the Twentieth Century, The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, there are many dynamic and round characters which greatly add to the story’s theme. One character, Daisy Fay Buchannon, is made essential by way of her relation to the theme. An integral part of the plot, Daisy conveys the meaning of the novel, with her multi-dimensional personality and her relation to the conflicts. Daisy Buchannon is a round and dynamic character with many different sides to her personality.

Early on in the book, she is portrayed as sweet and innocent. Her white and seemingly floating dress appeals to Nick in this way. She grew up as “the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville.” Even then she dressed in white. Daisy also keeps her daughter around as a show toy. Whenever company comes over, she beckons for the little girl to come and put on a little act for everyone. This is symbolic of Daisy’s life; she is kept in the closet until it’s time to show off for company, then she becomes radiant and personable. When everyone has gone, she is a bored housewife, of no importance to the world wondering aloud what she is going to do with the rest of her life. She appears to be bored yet innocent and harmless. Yet her innocence is false.

Simply a materialistic young girl and has little mind of her own is underneath all of that covering. Daisy rediscovers her love with Gatsby because of his nice shirts and large house. Daisy has been well trained in a rich family. She has grown up with only the finest material goods. When Gatsby failed to contact her, she went off and married another man, without evening having heard a word from Gatsby. All of these many and round characteristics add complications to the plot and dimension to the meaning she adds to the book.

The afore mentioned characteristics also help to create some of the main conflicts. Daisy was involved in the conflict between her and Tom. Tom had a mistress and Daisy was upset by it. Another conflict is her love affair with Gatsby. Her apparent sweetness and innocence allow Gatsby to fall in love with her. But her impatience and ignorance of true love or the meaning of truth or compassion allow her to flawlessly marry Tom, without a sober thought of Gatsby.

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