What is some general information about the new rich and the old rich in this novel?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The old rich were conservative people who were used to their wealth and success.  Most stayed in the west, as not to run into the "new rich" in the east.  Cities like New York City and other larger cities were in the east, so this is why they were labeled that way. 

After World War I, women became liberated because of their role in the work force when the men left for war.  Once the men came back, women were definitely more outspoken and styles began to change (skirts got shorter)--flapper style, as did their hairstyles.  Long gone were the long locks of feminine hairstyles.  Many women went with a shorter look. 

All of these changes were going on in the big cities.  Those who stayed in the west stayed conservative, while the Roaring 20s continued on recklessly in the east (big cities). The new rich became so materialistic with their new found wealth that they spent without thinking and cared for themselves only.  They were not afraid to do something at the expense of another person.  This is what separated the old money from the new money.  The new money became embarrassing to the old money, which is why they tended to stay where they were and not move to the larger cities.

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The Great Gatsby

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