Consumerism In The Great Gatsby

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Just as the Stoddard Lectures reveals the truth about Gatsby’s secret life, in a broader context, it also hints at some of the prevailing social problems of the 1920s that is generally overlooked. Because we generally think positively of the economic prosperity of the 1920s, we often overlook many consequences such as the dangers of consumerism. In the 1920s culture of consumerism, the way one views an object is almost paradoxical. People seemed to value objects greatly, but at the same time, objects are very disposable. Not only are objects easily replaced, but they also lose their functions and are simply reduced to decorative purposes to make some sort of statement about a person. The growing emphasis on using objects as a mean of expressing oneself seems to go hand in hand with the growing trend of treating people superficially.…show more content…
The phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover" has been around since the mid-19th century, but during this new era of glitz and glamor, it is all about judging or in some cases, naming others based on their appearances. For example, Nick and Jordan converse with Owl Eyes for a considerable amount of time, but they never bother to ask for his name and for the rest of the novel, he is simply referred to as Owl Eyes. Why? Perhaps there are other hidden meanings behind the name, but the most likely case scenario is because Owl Eyes was wearing owl-shaped spectacles. Another example is when Jordan is speaking to two girls dressed in twin yellow dresses at Gatsby’s party. She met them a month ago, but she does not remember their names; however, what she does recall is that one of them have dyed hair since then (Fitzgerald 47). Fitzgerald uses these seemingly insignificant interactions between characters to reveal how impersonal and superficial people have
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