The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby: A Savage Critique of High Society 11th Grade

The extravagant, mystical events that are Gatsby’s parties represent the charming surface of a wealthy lifestyle and the complete lack of substance underneath. Through lyrical, soaring phrases punctuated by a plethora of adjectives Fitzgerald lends the parties an air of enchantment and portrays the elaborate decorations – the “harlequin designs” of the salads and the “turkeys bewitched to a dark gold” - as an utter delight for the eye to see. The immense preparation that goes into the occasion and the way Nick’s descriptions crescendo as the party builds to its climax creates a sense of anticipation. Whether the guests are “diving from the tower of [Gatsby’s] raft” or laughing away in groups, they appear to be carefree – creating the impression that the lives of the wealthy are full of fabulous fun and happiness.

However, on a deeper level Fitzgerald savagely critiques the gaudy nature of such events and the hollow people who attend them. The flawless appearance but impermanent nature of the party reflect that of the lives of the rich – lovely to look at but superficial and empty, as shown by the way the groups “dissolve and form”, constantly drifting about in a meaningless manner, creating a foul dust that floats through the...

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