F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby purpose was to talk about how the American dream is an illusionary thought.
All it does is lead to unethical thoughts and actions to be done for wealth but these types of thoughts need to be reachable. The journey Gatsby faces is impacted through social class and wealth, which shows why Fitzgerald uses a sequence of literary devices to help recognize how social class and meritocracy are represented through similes, diction, and symbolism. Fitzgerald uses similes to recognize how social class is represented by comparing through an emphatic tone to address how desirable the American dream was. This is to emphasize the power that Nick wants to be based on wealth through how one’s desires can do, what one thinks can lead to what one does.
In the book, The Great Gatsby it says, “I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities and, they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint” (Fitzgerald, 4). Words like “red and gold” being compared to “new money from the mint” because of how the color “gold” can be referred as wealth. The showing of Nick desire to be as wealthy as his friend through comparison. This is the desire that Nick has to want to be wealthy.
The understanding of what you want to be and where you are in society plays a big role to recognize how Nick’s social class. Furthermore, the using of similes are to make better comparisons through how the influencing of how the American dream is only temporary. The thought of how the American dream is temporary could be used in many ways through examples that affected how one thinks. Fitzgerald states, “Then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk” (Fitzgerald, 14). A showing of a comparison by from her beauty and dark side by using the word “dusk.
” The finding out that the light represents the romantic desire that occurs. The understanding of romantic desires can only be temporary was a thought made that the American dream can be temporary as well. This could connect back to social class and wealth due to how temporary wealth can be and it can vanish quickly if you don’t keep track of what you decide to do which can lead to one’s glory having a darker effect. The beauty of wealth can only last for a little and then can hunt you after. Overall, showing how social class impacts the desire of the American dream through how the wealth can be a backfired thought.
The privileged life made an understanding of comparisons of how social class matters when different moments unfold. This also shows how the American dream being temporary is a showing here just like attendants in Gatsby’s parties. Fitzgerald writes, “Men and girls went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars” (Fitzgerald, 39). This is a showing how people are attracted to wealth, champagne and conveys people with no lack of control.
The saying of “moths” is comparing his guest to how people would leave very quickly. While the saying of “men and girls” was a thought to show how people are considered fake through the comparisons to Gatsby’s party. People not knowing how one can act is a representation of how social class and wealth is impactful in the book because the thoughts of one can change based just on money. Showing how the social class in The Great Gatsby does matter based on how people act and reacted to how social class was important because of how dependent people were to it.
Fitzgerald uses symbolism to develop an understanding of social class and meritocracy by signifying ideas and qualities by giving the symbol to signify how the American dream can be reached. Fitzgerald says, “Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees-he could climb to it..
.” (Fitzgerald, 110). The ladder symbolizes success and the attempt to reach the American Dream. This showing the American dream is possible and can be done. As long as, there something to be provided it could be succeeded. The ladder can be served as a goal that needs to be achieved for Gatsby because it could represent how there is a great joy and success up there if you climb and on the bottom it the total opposite.
This can lead to a dilemma based on social ranking and how it wants to be played out because there has to be one choice which is faced throughout the book. Mainly, shown when Gatsby shows his love for Daisy. The love that Gatsby had for Daisy had a very deep impact for him because it was about himself or his thoughts on love and destined to be with this girl.This overall shows, that the thought of how social class and meritocracy can be signified through symbols to show how the American dream could be reached by using a symbol. Also, use of color is to emphasize a symbol through illusions can affect what can occur through wealth.
The use of symbols came in many ways and one of the ways was through how this created illusions which are an indicator of why social ranking was affected in this situation. In the book, The Great Gatsby, it says, “A few days later he took him to Dultah and bought him a blue coat..
.” (Fitzgerald, 100). The blue coat defines an illusion of how wealth affected Gatsby in the future through his past and is trying to retain a new life. Gatsby’s wanting to be of the future. Which provides an insight of how Gatsby was as a character through his thought on his social standings.
Illusions are very impactful to how Gatsby thought of the American dream. The effect that this blue coat has in the book is huge towards the understanding of how the American dream is inspired by wealth because of Gatsby’s past. The showing of colors could be used as a symbol to describe illusion which matters when talking about social ranking.
Additionally, in the book The Great Gatsby the color yellow represents a certain meaning to understand social order for a person’s desire through the thought of setting. Fitzgerald states, “And if you want to take down any addresses here’s my little gold pencil” (Fitzgerald, 105). Yellow symbolizes wealth, or more clearly, means “old money” ultimately explains the East Egg. This is essential to give the difference between West Egg and East Egg due to social class and wealth.
Showing how the two locations viewed each other differently through a color which was yellow as a sign to have wealth can differentiate two different sides. Another thought of Daisy here was to show her social ranking which was a very important part of society in the book. The showing of the “gold pencil” possibly was a representation of how she can speak for herself being of “old money” which was basically showing off her wealth and her upper class to others. Overall, this further explains how setting has a great impact towards the use of symbols.The last literary device I will be describing is the use of diction to describe the mood of certain characters throughout the book to simplify influences made through one’s thoughts on certain words of how social class and wealth can affect them. The different description of words throughout the book is all used by Fitzgerald to show a sign of a negative mood.
In the book, The Great Gatsby it says, “Wreck of a Ford which crouched in a dim corner” (Fitzgerald, 25). The thought of how dark and gray the mood is through making it seem like wrecked Ford is not worth it and how could was a showing of a car a Ford all the word like “dim.” This could also connect back to social class and wealth only because this is the showing of the lower class through the mood. The thought of a “dim corner” make it seem like something is unestablished such as the lower class which basically is a showing of the lower class. This all shows how the word choice that Fitzgerald uses tries to describe setting through words to show the mood of events occurring can impact how one thinks about social rankings in society.Even with diction being very repetitive throughout the book, The Great Gatsby it is used to convey different aspects of the book through strong words that can bring positive moods throughout the book.
Fitzgerald says, “There was a slow, pleasant movement in the air, scarcely a wind” (Fitzgerald, 152). The use of the word “pleasant” describes the positive mood that Fitzgerald tries to imply of how the day was going. The thought of “Fitzgerald understood the pleasures” (The New Yorker) that although there were times the book had negatives, the author Fitzgerald try to explain the book that although one’s mood is not the best the understanding of when there should be changed occurred. The different ways diction is used was always varied through varied moods Finally, diction is being used through Fitzgerald describing someone through social ranking. Tom represents the wealthy and he feels things are not going his way, so he felt he had to express his opinions to Gatsby.
Fitzgerald says, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife” (Fitzgerald, 130). In the last piece of evidence, “Mr. Nobody” Gatsby is shown by Tom to be a person with no significance and is from nowhere. This occurs in the time when Tom Buchanan is very aware of Gatsby and Daisy’s connection growing. This displays in this scene being very chaotic because of the tones and mood he has throughout this confrontation.
Such as, being very frustrated would describe Tom in this situation because he does not want to see the girl he is married having a bond with Gatsby who is believed by Tom to be a “Mr. Nobody” because of social ranking. This only occurs because Tom embodies hypocrisy, meritocracy, and social class through trying to show his power that he is rich. Tom believed that the rich had all the say in society which made himself look very bad as a man due to this showing he is only trying to do this because he is attempting to reaffirm his position in society and if he does not he will fear that it will go downhill and there will be no more purpose for life Overall, shows how varied diction can be and described in many ways that can be connected back to how social class and wealth have a huge effect to how the book progresses.
Overall, Fitzgerald uses similes, diction, and symbolism to develop and describe the understanding of social class and meritocracy. This is done in different ways and one way Fitzgerald does this is by using setting, colors all to describe different times throughout the book. Even though, many may argue what was thought to not be essential to the writing of Fitzgerald revolutionized his book through literary devices which is probably the reason why The Great Gatsby has been sold more than 25 million times!