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Posted: July 29th, 2019

Marxist reading of the Great Gatsby, Research Paper

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby has long been praised as a classic work of American literature. However, it is not often considered through a Marxist lens. In this research paper, I will explore how Marxist ideas can be found within the novel and how they manifest themselves in the characters and themes.

First, it is important to define the class system that exists in The Great Gatsby. The novel is set in the 1920s, a time when America was experiencing rapid economic growth and industrialization. The upper class consisted of those who inherited their wealth, while the lower class consisted of those who had to work for their money. This divide is clearly seen in the novel with the characters living in West Egg, such as Gatsby and Nick, representing the new wealthy, while those living in East Egg, such as Tom and Daisy Buchanan, represent the old aristocracy.

Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are two characters who attain power and wealth in different ways. Tom is a member of the old aristocracy and has inherited his wealth and status. Gatsby, on the other hand, has amassed his wealth through illegal means, such as bootlegging. While Tom is seen as legitimate due to his family’s history, Gatsby’s wealth is seen as illegitimate due to the means by which he acquired it.

The darker aspects of the American economy are embodied in the characters of Gatsby and Wolfsheim. Gatsby’s wealth comes from illegal activity, and Wolfsheim is a notorious gangster. These characters represent the corruption that can come with capitalism and the pursuit of wealth.

Wilson, who represents the working class, seeks personal wealth through his business. However, his efforts are in vain, and he ends up making the rich richer while becoming poorer himself. This illustrates a larger economic problem where the pursuit of wealth becomes a vicious cycle that benefits only the wealthy.

Unfair privilege is shown throughout the novel, from Tom’s ability to get away with infidelity to the rich’s ability to throw extravagant parties while the poor struggle to make ends meet. This privilege perpetuates the class divide and makes it difficult for those in the lower classes to climb the economic ladder.

Gatsby appears to prioritize his love for Daisy over his personal wealth and business, but this ultimately leads to his downfall. This suggests that personal relationships and emotions are often sacrificed in the pursuit of wealth and success.

Finally, the portrayals of people living in East Egg and West Egg reflect a larger class-based issue. Those living in East Egg are portrayed as careless and frivolous, while those in West Egg are seen as hardworking and determined. This illustrates the idea that the rich are able to lounge around and enjoy their wealth while the poor must work tirelessly just to make ends meet.
Marxist reading of the Great Gatsby

Research Paper Description
My research question would be: How does Marxism exist and manifest itself inside F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. First, I approach the novel from the point of view of a Marxist literary critic and comment on issues surrounding class. Then I analyze and define the class system that is in place in The Great Gatsby. Next, I analyze how power and wealth are attained specifically by Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Secondly, I investigate how the darker aspects of the American economy are embodied in Gatsby’s and Wolfsheim’s characters. Then, I examine how Wilson represents the working class and show how him seeking personal wealth unintentionally ends up making the rich richer and him poorer. Next, I would pause and examine how the problem stated in the previous sentence illustrates a larger economic problem. Thirdly, I list and examine all the times in The Great Gatsby where unfair privilege is shown. Next, only briefly, I explore how Gatsby in one part of the story appears to prioritize his love for Daisy over his personal wealth and business. Of this I ask and answer the question: does Gatsby’s love for Daisy positively or negatively affect his ambition? Finally, I compare the portrayals of people who live in east egg to the portrayals of people who live in west egg. By doing this I would hopefully find that their descriptions relate to a larger class-based issue. This will be done in the form of a social critique and I conclude that those who live in East Egg are portrayed as careless citizens and this illustrates a prominent class issue which revolves around the rich lounging around and getting richer while the poor work and remain poor.

Works Best paper writer websites, Custom term paper writing service and Research papers owl essays – Professional help in research projects for students – Cite d
Canterbery, E. Ray. “Thorstein Veblen and ‘The Great Gatsby.’” Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 33, no. 2, 1999, pp. 297–304. JSTOR, JSTOR,
Clecak, Peter. “Marxism, Literary Criticism, and the American Academic Scene.” Science & Society, vol. 31, no. 3, 1967, pp. 275–301. JSTOR, JSTOR,
Godden, Richard. “‘The Great Gatsby’: Glamor on the Turn.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 16, no. 3, 1982, pp. 343–371. JSTOR, JSTOR,
Holquist, Michael. “Stereotyping in Autobiography and Historiography: Colonialism in ‘The Great Gatsby.’” Poetics Today, vol. 9, no. 2, 1988, pp. 453–472. JSTOR, JSTOR,
Ruggieri, Colleen A. “‘The Great Gatsby’ and the Cacophony of the American Dream.” The English Journal, vol. 97, no. 3, 2008, pp. 109–109. JSTOR, JSTOR,

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