Nothing But a Wasteland
The Downfall of Society by Vicky Su
Why Our Society Is Failing
With wealth often comes the development of a narcissistic outlook on life. Imagine a world where the wealthy prosper while those of lesser fortune struggle to keep up with the upper class. Our world would be doomed in the perils of chaos. People everywhere would be consumed with the profits of greed and self indulgence. Much like in Gatsby’s world, there are similar people and things that pose a threat to our society. The underlying causes that destroy our society include people who refuse to accept others of different social standards, and people that only care about a self preserved image. These similar traits relate Gatsby’s society to ours. In the book, Carraway describes the East Egg as a superficial society in which the people who live there make it seem like they are superior to any other society. “Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware of its superiority to the bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the children and the very old- even then it had always for me a quality of distortion” (Page 176). In the book, the discriminating acts of the upper class resulted in the death of three people. In reality, many people die everyday from the consequences of bullying. People in their youth, like teenagers, are most likely to commit suicide from being bullied rather than an adult. In some ways, there is also a distortion in our society that is caused by the selfish acts of the higher class. This kind of twisted society exists only as wasteland filled with the bodies of uncivilized and moral-less souls.
Bound by the “American Dream” of success and fortune, countless people in our society strive to be the very best. However, this does not always result in a positive manner. In order to achieve reaching the “top” of society, acts of violence and oppression begin to occur between those that struggle. In the book “The Great Gatsby”, Tom Buchanan is a wealthy East Egger who only cares about flaunting his wealth. Tom often talks down to people he believes are of a lesser superiority. For example, Tom regards Wilson in a discourteous manner because he knows Wilson comes from a poor background. “Wilson? He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive” (Page 26). Similar acts like this tend to happen everyday and there is hardly ever anyone to stop it. Wilson tries hard to fit into the upper class, but fails. As a result, his life ends in a tragic self inflicted death. “It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete” (Page 162). In reality, people commit suicide everyday due to similar reasons. Bringing oneself to this limit is an act that requires a great deal of courage. Those that are going through hardships usually resort to ending their lives as well as ending their pain. Especially with teenage students, fitting in could be a very difficult and exhausting task. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year. Not everyone is going to be accepted by the people they want. Because of this, those that consider themselves as “outcasts” turn to suicide to end their suffering. Studies show that more than 160,000 kids stay home from school on any give day just from the fear of being bullied. It is up to the people around them to convince them to continue living life and to support them through the hard times. Without this moral support, society is doomed.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all been bullied. Whether it’s verbal bullying or cyber bullying, we have all experienced it before. People bully others to make themselves feel superior. As a result, this type of harassment leads to high rates of suicide, especially for teenagers who are exposed to bullying the most. Imagine walking through the school hallways and witnessing a classmate getting bullied. Even though you might not know the person very well, would you still defend them? If you were in a similar situation, do you think they would defend you? Statistics reported by ABC News claim that nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying. We cannot just neglect the countless acts of bullying that are occurring everyday. If everybody acted like Daisy and Tom in “The Great Gatsby” and just moved on with their lives without resolving their problems, our society as a whole would not function. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess that they made” (Page 179). Tom and Daisy represent the idea of having superficial morals. These kinds of people only add to the problems in our society.
It is up to society to defend the rights of the people and to make our surroundings feel secure. No one wants to feel like they are being oppressed by others even while they are attending school. If we work together to accept people of different social backgrounds, our society would no longer be a hostile environment for those that feel like they do not belong.