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Great Gatsby Essay Essay Research Paper There

Great Gatsby Essay Essay, Research Paper

There are many things that we observe through social occurrences which cause us to make

judgements about a particular person or group of people. Correspondingly, these things

we observe also reveal to us the values held by these people. This particular idea is

represented well in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Glamour and lavish

surroundings influence the peoples goals and desires and contribute to their materialistic

and socially prominent ideals. This is shown through the actions of people at Gatsby s

parties, the attendance at Gatsby s funeral, and Daisy s fickleness between Tom and


The people at Gatsby s parties reveal the values of the society in that they attend

without really even knowing the host. They gossip and ask questions about him, but no

one really knows who he is. Some even go so far as not speaking to or approaching

Gatsby. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all (p.45). Many

people show up uninvited and are not even friends of Gatsby. I believe that when I went

to Gatsby s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were

not invited- they went there (p.45). There is one man, however, who understands the

mystery of Gatsby. This man describes in great detail the book facades in Gatsby s

library. He describes how they are better than most normal book facades in that not only

do you see the outside cover of the book, but the book also appears to have pages so that

it looks real from the top too. It fooled me. What realism (p.50)! This symbolizes true

Gatsby who is nothing but a facade himself with no real inner personality, only a fake

cover . Just as the books, Gatsby is a better facade that fools most people, yet this man

sees through it. The rest of these people are merely interested in the glamour and lavish

surroundings that Gatsby has to offer.

The attendance at Gatsby s funeral also shows the values of the society. Even with

all of the people who attend his parties, nearly no one attends his funeral. ….there was no

wire, and no one arrived (p.173). Other than Nick (being the narrator) and Gatsby s own

father, the only one who attends the funeral is the man in the library who sees through

Gatsby and understands him. Daisy doesn t even attend Gatsby s funeral after she says she

loves him more than her husband Tom. Daisy had sent neither a message nor a flower

(p.183). This again proves the peoples motives of materialism and social prominence.

Daisy s inability to make a decisive choice between Tom and Gatsby is yet another

incident that shows the values of the society. Daisy says she loved Gatsby more, yet she

submits to Tom. Whether she marries Tom because she really loves him more or because

he has more to offer her at the time we can only guess. Although, this point is made

clearer through the fact that after Daisy has been married to Tom all those years, she

leaves him for Gatsby one night in a moment. I never loved him, she said with reluctance

(p.139). This seems to suggest that Daisy cares more about what she can get

materialistically from the two, than whether or not she loves one of them more.

We are always watching the behavior of other people and passing judgements on

to them based upon the choices that they make. Whether it is peoples actions in the midst

of glamour, their attendance in ones time of need, or their choice between true love or

money, all of these social events reveal the values held by the people. If a group of people

wish to obtain a set of values they will then mirror those desires in their social actions.