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A Generation Bound by Class

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Brandi Smithers

7 November 2012

Writing Project #2

A Generation Bound by Class

Many see history as an honorable subject. History is composed of a combination of situational and societal events and the minds responsible for such events shaped our society into what it is today. However, is society today really that commendable? Did the individuals who are responsible for "creating" our way of life build off of a foundation of moral integrity, or instead, did they use a foundation of greed and power? Even though intention is not concrete, it is easy to say that the power-holders today only see power as a necessary term of survival. Author bell hooks point of view on social class and its use is just that. The generations of young people, who are brought up by leaders who are filled with greedy thoughts and bad habits of seeking excess material goods, know no better than to take after their mentors. Just like Gatsby, hooks argues that one is bound by social class. Her ideas are modern, but Fitzgerald's writing shows that even in the 1920's people were in fact bound by social class. To be bound by social class means that in order for one to by happy, they must first achieve higher social standing. This desire to achieve higher social standing instills greedy thoughts and the idea that having more material possessions might increase one's worth in society.

Looking into Gatsby's life, it is undeniable that he was indeed bound by social class. Though Gatsby was not originally a money oriented man, he sought after material wealth to impress a woman. The unavoidable difference in social class was the main barrier between the two. He soon became so entirely hungry for money, that his actions clearly reflected his carelessness and greed. Gatsby is a perfect example for what hooks describes in her book as people who let the "politics of greed rule" (hook 87). Just as hooks exemplifies when describing the unbalance of moral integrity and greed, Gatsby soon lost sight of his initial intention and started to live a life where he was too deeply involved in the policy of money and social class. Despite his undying love for Daisy, even she "tumbled short of his dreams - not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into a creative passion" (Fitzgerald Chapter 5).

Reality is one of the most feared concepts to a greedy mind. When people are "forced to face the reality that we are bound by class, by limited resources, by the exhaustion of glories, by endless exploitation, they become rage filled and rage addicted" (hooks 87). Looking further into hook's lens text, it becomes clear that her metaphoric use of terms such as "rage filled and rage



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