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What are the themes of The Great Gatsby? Show more Show less

F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved novel The Great Gatsby is required reading for most high schools. It shows New York City during the 1920s: a time of youth, wealth, and prohibition. What exactly are the themes of the novel, and how are the characters influenced by the values of the era?

The Great Gatsby is about social class Show more Show less

The characters are concerned about their position in society and how others perceive them.
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Jay Gatsby's parties

Gatsby's parties were the hub for upper-class society.
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The Great Gatsby literature education reading book


The Argument

Jay Gatsby's decadent parties served as the center for upper-class nightlife. They included alcohol, live music, and dancing. By throwing expensive parties, he has become part of the elite class and has many powerful business connections.[1] People from all over New York City would travel to his house to experience one of his parties, having heard rumors about how extravagant they are. Many who attend the parties are wealthy and part of the elite class. The amount of money and effort that goes into throwing Gatsby's parties shows how excessive and outrageous the upper class can be. The characters are constantly trying to flaunt their social status and wealth.

Counter arguments

Gatsby's parties were only beneficial for entertainment, and not a place to establish wealth or class. Nick Carraway states multiple times how drunk and disorderly the guests were being. It is well-known that Gatsby is a bootlegger, so many attended parties for an opportunity to drink during prohibition. They served as a place for people to be themselves without the judgement of society.



[P1] Gatsby's parties were a place to boast about wealth and class status. [P2] Most who attended Gatsby's parties were in the upper class. [P3] The upper class is excessive with their wealth. [P4] Therefore, the theme of The Great Gatsby is social class.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Gatsby's parties were a place for people to drink alcohol. [Rejecting P3] Only Gatbsy is excessive with his wealth.


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This page was last edited on Thursday, 26 Mar 2020 at 12:09 UTC