The Great Gatsby is a brilliant and evocative criticism of capitalism.

Prompted by the  Baz Luhrmann directed movie treatment of the novel,   I  re-read F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby just recently and my life was better for it.

This pre-Depression novel is a brilliant and evocative criticism of capitalism.  Money and status are everything  and in his pursuit of them, Jay Gatsby eventually loses  his life in his struggle  to convince the world  that he  is more than  just 'new money'.

The  Great Gatsby echoes Marx who explains the devaluation of ordinary men and women as a result of the "increase in value of the world of things."

F. Scott Fitzgerald  read Marx early in his life  and described himself as 'a Marxian', which is probably not something that gets mentioned in the  polite middle class book clubs of suburbia.

He commented in a letter to his daughter shortly before this death in December 1940: “Sometime when you feel very brave and defiant and haven’t been invited to one particular college function, read the terrible chapter in [Marx’s] Das Kapital on 'The Working Day'  and see if you are ever quite the same.”


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