Great Gatsby, the Idolization of the Rich

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Research Paper English 103 Kurt Matteson While some idolize the rich for their boundless opulence, others dismiss them out of disgust. In either way the wealthy are stripped of their humanity by the masses making them immortal; a persistent reminder of unobtainable luxury. Idolization in itself isn’t necessarily harmful, it sets certain aspirations, and it makes you want to better yourself, wanting to be more like someone or something. It can also take away someone’s humanity, if they are seen as immortal, or a god. The dismissal of a human being can be incepted for many reasons, but it usually leaves the dismissed feeling less human. Dehumanization does not occur when someone accuses someone of being less human. It occurs when the accused feel less human. As with many aspects of human behavior, it only has the power to affect you if you let it. Both idolization and dismissal can lead to dehumanization. The rich are not the only victims, but are the most obvious. Most of the masses wouldn’t view themselves on the same level as the rich. The reasoning is, the rich have more money, that makes them better and everyone should worship them because they are gods and worthy of only the best. Or, the rich have more money, they should help people who actually need it but they don’t because they are selfish, disgusting individuals who don’t care about anyone but themselves, therefore they are poor excuses of human beings. In either scenario the end result is the wealthy individual(s) being classified as less human. You can worship someone to the point when they are so far above you that there’s no way you can be equals because in your mind they are better than you. You can also be disgusted by someone to the point where their existence means nothing to you. Dehumanization works both ways in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, many saw Jay as
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