The Two Faces of Gatsby’s Parties During the 1920’s, everyone is making easy money off the stock market and lives their lives to the fullest potential.The decade, also known as the Jazz Age, brings a lot of glamour into many households; one of which belongs to Jay Gatsby.
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby shows his wealth by arranging humongous parties every so often. At these parties most of the people who are in attendance are uninvited, but at the same time are also very rich.Although Gatsby’s parties and the wealth they represent are initially portrayed as alluring and glamorous, in Chapter 3 Fitzgerald subtly undercuts the apparent allure and glamour of both through specific words and images he uses to describe the party scene and the behavior of the partygoers. The scene appears alluring and glamorous, yet there is a subtext, an undercurrent of negative images and commentary running through much of Fitzgerald’s description which undercuts the apparent allure and glamour, suggesting the destructive side of wealth.Both, the positive and the negative images are represented when the servants, the setting and the entertainment are being described in the chapter.Behind the scenes of a beautiful party, there are those that do not have much fun; they are the hard working servants.
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These servants work long before the party starts to get it set up and during the party to keep everyone happy.Before the party starts the servants have the job of driving people over to the Gatsby’s house, and it is described in a following manner, “On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city…while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains.”From the impression, it seems like a normal preparation for the party which actually makes it sound very courteous, but a closer look at the description also reveals the hard work that the servants do in order to keep these parties on track. They are like a “brisk yellow bug” in a way that they give it their all to get their job done, but at the same time they are unappreciated and can be squashed like a “bug” when their services are not required anymore. During the preparations for the party and the clean up from the old one, there is another huge example of the mistreatment of the servants, “servants toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.”Once again, it does not seem too bad when the clean up is being described, but the rough words like “toiled” and “ravages” give the scene a very ugly face.In this case, wealth destroys the ability of the wealthy to recognize that the servants are as human as they are, and deserve equal treatment.Gatsby’s house is an enormous place with a lot of space and the beautiful descriptions of it make it seem so wonderful, this also allows for sneaky descriptions of destruction and negligence.To prepare for the party described in Chapter 3, Nick notices that for the party it takes, “several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden.”The example shows that Gatsby is just getting ready to treat his guests as warmly as possible, but at the same time that he makes his place look nicer and richer he also makes it look like he is showing off in a major way.All the extra decorations make the scene sickening to an average person who knows that everything is done to impress other rich and egotistical people.There is also a description of the setting around a cocktail table, “the only place in the garden where a single man could linger without looking purposeless and alone.”Even thought cocktails during the party seem like a lot of fun, the description gives a cold feeling about how everyone is treated in the place.The destruction of wealth is also shown through the entertainment provided for the partygoers.The arrival of the orchestra is described in a following way, “No thin five piece affair but a whole pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums.”There is again the sense of showing off by Gatsby because it is really not necessary to invite that huge amount of people for entertainment purposes only, with all those different types of musical instruments.Still, the word that really catches an eye is “pit full”; even though there is nothing bad about a “pit” of musicians playing their instruments, in this case the word has a deeper meaning that gives it an evil look.The similarity is made between wealth and evil, and the best way to summarize both would be in a word destruction.Everything that goes on around the Gatsby’s place before and during the party is very glamorous and exciting, but there is an implicit meaning of disconfirming.