Gatsby Project Portfolio

By: Maiya Mangum

Great Gatsby Marxism Theory Essay

How are power and status intertwined? The Great Gatsby highlighted that your status can make or break you. The lower class doesn’t have the same access to opportunities as the upper class. Tom and Daisy, the wealthiest characters in the book, use their power to manipulate the lower class, they have the ability to start over, and they make sure to use their power to stay on top.

Tom and Daisy used their power to manipulate the lower class. The Wilsons are a working-class couple. One night, Daisy ran over and killed Myrtle Wilson but Gatsby was willing to take the blame for it because he loved Daisy. Gatsby didn’t know his fate would end up in death,” Then Tom shut the door on them and came down the single step, his eyes avoiding the table. I know, he said definitely. I’m one of these trusting feelings and I don’t think any harm to nobody, but when I get to know a thing I know it. It was the man in that car. She ran out to speak to him and he wouldn’t stop.”(Fitzgerald pg 140 &158) As a result, Tom pointed the blame to Gatsby so he wouldn’t break up his relationship and take the blame off of Daisy.

The upper class like Tom and Daisy have the power because after Gatsby dies and they just fade away, move to a new place, and pretend that nothing ever happened, "I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called her instinctively and without hesitation. But she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and had taken baggage with them."(Fitzgerald pg 164) This relates to their ability to start their life over and erase everything that happened out of their life because of the power they hold and their wealthy status.

The upper class uses their power to ensure that they will stay on top. Although Gatsby had made a name for himself Tom didn't like that Daisy was going to leave him for Gatsby. He wanted to get rid of Gatsby for good, "I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confusing. 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 they had made."(Fitzgerald pg 179)As a result, this quote describes how their wealth was their safety net.

Having power and maintaining it played an essential factor in driving Tom and Daisy to do the unthinkable. Having power also contributes to social status. Gatsby came into new money and threw parties which made him a threat to people with old money. Also, Gatsby was driving a wedge into Tom and Daisy’s relationship. Gatsby was an example to the lower class that you can succeed and make money but you will never truly fit in and you have to always look over your shoulder. Tom and Daisy, the wealthiest characters in the book, use their power to manipulate the lower class, they have the ability to start over, and they make sure to use their power to stay on top.

The American Dream- The People vs. You

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Artist statement

The title of the drawing is The American Dream- The people vs. you. On one side it has the people drawn with one collective thought bubble on the "traditional" perspective of the American Dream. On the other side, it has you with a thought bubble with symbols representing what you want your "American Dream" to look like. The people side shows the "traditional" perspective of the American Dream. For example, going to college, then getting a job, getting married, buying a house and cars, and having children. Your side, the alternative, represents breaking the traditional way of doing things and having the freedom to decide your future, and not having a checklist for life.

This piece represents having your own individuality, freedom, and the choice you make to take control of your own life. Often times in America there is a box you have to stay in to follow the "right path" in life. This piece represents making your own choices that can be different from everybody else but it makes you happy and fulfills what you want to accomplish in life.

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The Two Worlds of Tom

This picture is based on chapters 1-3 of The Great Gatsby. One side of Tom's life contains his family side. The other side is Tom's "Hidden Life" where he goes out and cheats on his wife. His eyes represent wealth because his family is wealthy and it is the main part of his lifestyle. He is put on a pedestal because he thinks of himself above everybody else.
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Connections to the Text

My response is based on Chapters 4-6. I chose this creative response because relating the book to the world, yourself, and the text can help you understand the book better. It can help you understand the book better because you are relating it to things you are familiar with.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. S. (1925). The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons.