Whatroles do class, power, and money play in society? Who conventionally has thepower and money? From an opposed point of view, who does not? These areanswered in The Great Gatsby that is written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and TheBrave New World by Aldous Huxley. The ideologies and power hierarchies ofdistinct societies have standards that contemporary individuals continue tostrive towards to fulfil social expectations. These social standards andexpectations concerning class, power, and money result in the corruptness ofthe elite from illusions of class, mass control, and their morals.
In thenovels The Great Gatsby and The Brave New World, the charactersdemonstrate the corruptness of the elite based on power, money, and class thatbegin with the illusion of class transcendence, the mass control of thepopulation and information, and the morals of the elite.Theelite’s standard of behavior and beliefs regarding what is right and just iscorrupted. The corrupted morals of the higher class are evident in F. ScottFitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Tom and Daisy are careless people that do nottake responsibility for their actions. Nick writes, “They were careless people,Tom and Daisy, they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated backinto their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept themtogether and let other people clean up the mess they have made.” (Fitzgerald,170) Tom andDaisy’s depraved behavior is especially shown through exploitation of aposition of power; they are selfishly and unfairly taking advantage oversociety as a whole, and Gatsby personally for their own personal gain.
Daisy accidentlyran over Tom’s mistress, Myrtle and she let others believe that Gatsby killedMyrtle which resulted in Tom indirectly causing Gatsby’s death. Less than anhour after Gatsby’s death, the couple retreats back into their money and leavetown. They suppress morals relating to issues of right and wrong and howindividuals should behave and their unmoral conscience justifies their wrongfulactions. This suggests how corrupt their morals are considering that what theyknow to be right or just differ from the average person that can distinguishright from wrong and make decisions based on that knowledge. They do not take responsibilityand justify their careless acts such as how Tom and Daisy caused the deaths oftwo people.MeyerWolfshiem’s standard of behavior and beliefs are corrupted as well due to moneyand drugs. Tom says to Daisy, “He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of theseside street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over thecounter.” (Fitzgerald 127) F.
Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, published in 1926, takes place in thesummer of 1922 and therefore right in the midst of Prohibition. Meyer Wolfshiemsmuggles alcoholic beverages and illegally sells them to become wealthy. Hisbehavior of a bootlegger suggests that he values money significantly more thanwhat the law says should be done.
Rather than correcting his faults of abusingalcohol/drugs and making the right choice he consciously decides to remain inthe bootlegging business. byimposing modern methods or values such as applying for a legal job, adapting amore acceptable way of life and mode of behavior. This shows MeyerWolfshiem’s corrupted morals of money and drugs by placing them above the lawand rebelling against the government.
InAldous Huxley’s The Brave New World, the superior race’s primary source ofhappiness is sex and promiscuity is their virtue. The state teaches thecitizens at young ages that ‘everyone belongs to everyone else’ suggesting thatone may have sex with any partner they desire and encourage behaviorcharacterized by casual and indiscriminate sexual intercourse with severalpeople. Huxleywrites, “Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm Junesunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running with shrillyells over the lawns, or playing ball games.” (Huxley 31) Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun, Kiss thegirls and make them One.
Boys at onewith girls at peace; Orgy-porgy givesrelease'(p. 73).Thechildren are taught that sex is a game and they are encouraged to play from avery young age. When these children grow up, sex becomes a devotion and way oflife, especially a self-indulgent one to attain pleasure and happiness. Theyhold that sexual pleasure is the highest good and the source of their moralvalues which is corrupt behavior and beliefs of hedonism that the superior raceobtains.
This pursuit of pleasure is not morally good or righteous becausenobody loves each other and they have commitment issues by constantly abusingsex and ‘feelies’ which are movies that appeal to one’s eyes, ears, and senseof touch. This results in individualsnot living with each other, no true love, and no marriages. Additionally,in Aldous Huxley’s The Brave New World, the Alphas are in a constant state of hazeby consuming soma and alcohol. Fanny says to Bernard, “Take a holiday fromreality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or amythology. … And do remember that a gramme is better than a damn … There was a thing called Heaven; but allthe same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol.
” (Huxley 59)Theyare regularly in a mental and physical state where their feelings andperceptions are vague, disoriented, and obscured due to the soma and alcohol. Theyare less responsive to difficult emotions from repeated consumption of soma andalcohol that the behavior of escaping reality when circumstances becomeunpleasant is perceived as right or just; which is a corrupt moral. TheAlphas are ridding themselves of any unpleasant or difficult emotions and by neithersuffering nor opposing from a situation, no action will be taken to change orstop the problem from recurring, this will turn into a cycle of avoidance andfear. Additionally, they are using the displacement defense mechanism by satisfyingtheir impulses of frustration, desire, and sadness with a substitute object(drugs and alcohol) which is unhealthy.
This moral of denial and displacementis corrupted and the savage, John reaffirms this.