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Social Class : 1920`s America

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Erin Smale

on 15 May 2015

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Transcript of Social Class : 1920`s America

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
- An era of remarkable change

- Opinions were made

- Classes were decided

- Behavior was gripping
Class Consciousness
-The awareness of one's own social standing
How the nouveau riche were viewed
Social Classes
Mahren, Shannon, Brianna and Erin S.
Social Class : 1920`s America
Behavior of different classes
Upper class held themselves at higher standards
Superior to those who were not as wealthy
Only interacted with people of the same class to uphold social position

In the novel
Daisy and Tom are in the upper class with old money
Shown as somewhat oblivious and careless towards society
Gatsby is in the class of newly rich because he made the money himself
Proud of his money and accomplishments
More caring and aware of his surroundings


North Eastern region of the United States

New York area: East Egg vs West Egg

In the novel
East Egg
West Egg
Valley of Ashes

" 'You will if you stay in the East' " (14)

“ 'Oh, I’ll stay in the East, don’t you worry, I’d be a fool to live anywhere else'. ” (pg. 14-15) (Said by Tom)
Class Anxiety
-The concern about how others perceive you based on the social standing you appear to have
-Demonstrated in the novel through Daisy's unwillingness to leave Tom.
-The need to uphold the class' reputation in regards to behavior and manners
-Demonstrated in the novel through Tom
The definition of the American dream written by an American historian and writer, James Truslow Adams states:
"life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each [...] and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."
Works Cited
-Gatsby was unable to completely fulfill his "American Dream" because of the social class he was born into.
-Although Gatsby worked hard, and eventually earned enough money, he was unable to overcome the limits that his social class placed upon him.
The social rankings of the 1920's were classified under three categories.
-Old Money
Upper Class
-New Money (Nouveau Riche)
Lower Class
Fitzgerald wanted to show the corruption of the American Dream

Tom and Daisy Buchanan:
Fairly large Georgian Colonial mansion.
Very spacious.
Full of nice antiques and furniture.
Gothic Mansion.
Filled with many books.
Middle Class
-His social class wasn't good enough for Daisy, they would never be social equals.
"I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for dutch sailors eyes - a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder." -Nick, page 189
"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night." -Nick, page 189
His house wasn't as luxurious as Gatsby's or the Buchanan's but it had an amazing view.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (1) (Advice Nick's dad gave him)
“Daisy was my second cousin…and I’d known Tom in college.” (5 Nick)
East Egg/West Egg
Valley of Ashes
I'll be damned if I see how you got within a mile of her unless you brought the groceries to the back door. (138)

I suppose you've got to make your house into a pigsty in order to have any friends--in the modern world. (137)

I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea you can count me out. . . .
Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they'll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.(137)

It’s up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control. (17)
"The American Dream What Is The American Dream?"
Students. Library Of Congress, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great
Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.

"Class and American Elections." Class and American Elections. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
"Tom's arrogant eyes roamed the room." (111)

" 'We don't go around very much,' he said. 'In fact I was just thinking I don't know a soul here.' " (111)
" ' A lot of newly rich people are just bootleggers, you know.' " (114)
Table of Contents
1. Social Classes
2. Class Consciousness
3. The Nouveau Riche
4. Behavior of different classes
5. Houses
6. Geography
7. Work Cited
In the novel
In the 1920's society
-term used by established members of upper class
- struggle for social acceptance
- careless with money
- donate money to charity causes
- less social value (work their way up)
- Jay Gatsby belongs in the 'nouveau riche'
- Gatsby shows off is wealth
- Nick belongs in the 'nouveau riche'
- new money is spent differently than old money
- less responsible
Full transcript