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Social class is a prominent theme in ‘The Great Gatsby’. F. Scott Fitzgerald represented the upper class, middle class, and lower class of people in the 1920s era, he always separated the rich into two groups: old money and new money. In ‘The Great Gatsby’, Fitzgerald uses the characters to show the conflict among the high, middle, and low social classes.

First, Fitzgerald showed the conflict between the upper class, Gatsby vs. Tom. In ‘The Great Gatsby’, the upper class can be separated into two categories: old money and new money. Old money is the people who have inherited their money from generations before. New money is people who were born into the middle-class or a poor family and worked their way up to being wealthy by working hard to achieve the American Dream. Gatsby represents new money, while Daisy and Tom represent old money. Tom is more reserved, old-fashion, and spoiled. He also has some bad traits like being toxic, abusive, and racist. Gatsby is more with the new, rich lifestyle. He throws parties and has a huge mansion. Gatsby grew up in extreme poverty and he probably struggles in that way since he hasn’t had his wealth for his whole life. The way Tom acts stems from his wealth. Gatsby and Tom both acted in different ways because of their wealth and they both need wealth to be with Daisy.

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Second, Fitzgerald shows the conflict between the middle class and upper class, Nick vs. Gatsby. At the beginning of the novel, Nick said the advice his father gave him when he was younger: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald, 1). He is saying how Nick has an advantage over most people because they come from old money. Nick is conflicted throughout the novel about his feelings toward Gatsby. At first, he sees Gatsby as such a great person, but through most of the novel, Nick is not sure what to make of him. Gatsby tells lies and half-truths about his life and how he acquired his wealth.

Finally, Fitzgerald shows the conflict between the upper class and lower class, Tom Buchanan vs. George Wilson. Tom and Wilson have very little in common. Tom is a rude rich man who shows no respect to others, while Wilson is a very respectful poor man. Wilson is very humble. Nick describes Wilson as “one of these worn-out men – when he wasn’t working, he sat on a chair in the doorway and stared at people and cars that passed… when anyone spoke to him, he invariably laughed in an agreeable, colorless way” (Fitzgerald, 136). That really shows that you don’t have to be rich to be happy. They are very much alike in being deeply attached to their wives. Both are shocked when they find out their wives have been having an affair. Tom’s mistress was Wilson’s wife. When George discovers that Myrtle is having an affair, he does not know it is with Tom. George is a hardworking man who does not feel entitled to have an affair, and that also stems back to money. George is probably too busy making a living to do any of the things that Myrtle and Tom are doing.

Fitzgerald showed the upper class, middle class, and lower class in ‘The Great Gatsby’. Social class is a very prominent theme in ‘The Great Gatsby’. From old money to new money, to the poorest, Fitzgerald represented conflict with all of them.

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