Considering the nouveau riche and old money, what is the theme of classicism and jealousy?  How does that compare to the society we live in.

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme regarding socio-economic classes in the story is pretty clear.  Jay Gatsby, born James Gatz, remakes himself because he doesn't want to be like his parents who were poor farmers.  Once he has a taste of the rich lifestyle presented to him by Dan Cody, he knows this is what he wants.  He reinvents himself as Jay Gatsby, but he still has no money.  When he meets and falls in love with the rich Daisy, he's even more determined to become rich, apparently the means to that end wasn't important to him.  Even though he does become fabulously wealthy, he is, inside, still that son of hard-scrabble farmers.  He can never cross that social line despite having crossed the economic barrier.  Daisy realizes their worlds can never exist together because of their different social class and Tom realizes it and essentially throws it into Jay's face in the confrontation scene at the hotel in New York.  Jay Gatsby has worked for five years to accumulate the money he thinks is all he needs to become Daisy's social equal, but it cannot happen. Our society still has some social barriers that can't be crossed, I'm sure, but it has relaxed quite a bit from the society in the story.  Today, money has the power to help a person cross many social levels.  Look at many pro athletes and many in the entertainment industry to see proof of that.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question