Gatsby Paper

Gatsby Paper - Regina DePietro Levesque EN300-H 7 April...

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Regina DePietro Levesque EN300-H 7 April 2006 A man falls in love with a young female and lies to her about his wealth because he thinks it will impress her; they later reunite, fall in love again, crash a car into someone, and then the male protagonist, Jay Gatsby, gets killed. While the plot of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby may seem to some readers like a glorified soap opera, Ross Posnock, in his essay “’A New World, Material Without Being Real’: Fitzgerald’s Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby ,” finds Gatsby to be a man driven by the corrupt idea of capitalism and sees Fitzgerald’s plot as somewhat of an advertisement for Marxism. Since Posnock determines that “the moral, emotional, and spiritual chaos unleashed by money” is central to the plot, and Marxism is the belief that “all property should be publicly owned and each person works is paid according to their needs,” he feels that Fitzgerald purposefully tries to critique capitalism (Posnock, 202). Posnock proves this through many instances in the story, but mainly that Daisy Buchanan, the young female love interest form earlier, is a commodity that Gatsby feels he must own. Since Posnock must find all the characters in the novel to be senseless and loveless in order to see them purely as property or as people trying to obtain property, he overlooks a major theme in the novel, which is that although the Jazz Age embodied glamour and parties, people still had feelings and that capitalism was actually helping them achieve their personal goals. Although Posnock believes The Great Gatsby to be about “money and its dehumanizing effects,” the novel is not a critique of capitalism.
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Posnock’s first misconception is that The Great Gatsby is about “the individual only in relation to society,” when really Gatsby is a free thinker who really only cares
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HUMA 201 taught by Professor Downie during the Spring '08 term at UChicago.

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Gatsby Paper - Regina DePietro Levesque EN300-H 7 April...

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