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Marxist and Feminist Lenses - The Great Gatsby

            Every character in the Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is addicted to paper. They all act as paper dolls dependent on paper money to buy commodities that will aid them in their tactics to draw on fake picturesque identities. However, it's not just paper money that is needed to create the perfect illusion of life, but the paper people as well. Everyone in the novel will try to fold or shape other people to satisfy their own selfish desires. An example of this can be viewed when Jay Gatsby, one of the main characters in the novel, attempts to gain the affection of a woman named Daisy. However, it becomes clear that he does not love Daisy as a person, but rather as an asset for his own image. View this situation through a Marxist lens and one can see that Daisy's love becomes a commodity. View this situation through a feminist lens and his feelings are based upon ownership of women. In other words, by looking through marxist and feminist lenses, Gatsby and other characters are revealed to be lured into an artificial material class hierarchy, which unveils that the continuous theme of money hinders Gatsby's interpersonal relationships.
             By looking through a marxist lens one can see that ever since Jay Gatsby was a young child he constantly attempted to obtain wealth, which would eventually reveal his destruction of self and of the relationships around him. Gatsby believed that he needed to reach the highest level of the social hierarchy by constructing a new image for himself. However, even when this plan had just been formulated, his methods of using money and relationships to gain social status would prove ineffective. For example, as Nick, the main character of the novel, narrates the story, he says, "The truth was that Jay Gatsby.was a son of God-a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that-and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty.

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