Social Rank In The Great Gatsby

Words: 682
Pages: 3

Any major alteration in one’s life can change one’s sphere of social class, though the only change in social rank should be one that prioritizes personal character and goals. Within the pages of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to represent the definitive social classes that have always dictated our society, and how one moves within them. Many factors determine one’s social standing, and these factors play key roles in ascertaining if one can, and should, move social classes. One of the key factors that regulate social rank is financial success. To be considered elite, one must look and act the part. Judgments and first impressions are based on one’s appearance. One’s manners, the way one carries himself or herself, and how one …show more content…
Some might argue that one’s main goals in life should be wealth and becoming socially elite. This, however, is incorrect as it ultimately comes up to one’s personal priorities. Financial and social standing can completely change one’s character, both for the better and for the worse. Often, seeking social advancement purely for personal satisfaction can often lead to a sense of emptiness and regret. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby describes Daisy Buchanan’s marriage as one brought about by economic opportunity and even fear. He claimed the Tom Buchanan “told her of things that frightened her,” (Fitzgerald 152) cajoling her into marriage. Gatsby suggests that Tom appealed to Daisy’s fears of poverty and lack of social standing, indicating that he could provide for her and bring her to the social rank she sought. Even nowadays, it is common to see relationships with others that are created purely for the exploitation of one’s wealth or class. Some seek money out of desperation, others out of dissatisfaction for their personal situation. In either case, it is impossible that one becomes wealthy without any change in one’s character. Every variation to one’s normal life changes that person’s personality. If one is unwilling to undergo that character change, then they are unwilling to undergo a social change; whether or not one should change social status is determined by one’s personal goals in