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.”