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Hook: Where justice is denied, poverty is enforced, ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, persons nor property will be safe Frederick Douglass Background Information: Dead Man Walking: Sister Helen Prejean becomes a spiritual advisor for death row inmates and she works towards abolishing the death penalty in Louisiana. The Great Gatsby: Jay Gatsby struggle to climb up the social ladder in order to win Daisy Buchanans heart back. Thesis: Through the analysis of F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby and Sister Helen Prejeans Dead Man Walking, it is evident that both novels expose the idea that wealth determines ones social class in society through the characters, settings, and symbols. As a result, this portrayal of society shows the impact money partakes on peoples lives. Argument 1: Text 1 Topic Sentence: Through the character analysis of the novel The Great Gatsby, the idea that wealth is associated with class is evidently depicted which in return shows the impact money can have on peoples lives. Example 1: Tom Buchanan, a wealthy individual in this novel illustrates the importance of richness as wealth ultimately decides where he stands in society. Quote 1: Toms family *is+ enormously wealthy even in college his freedom with money was a matter of reproach (Fitzgerald 6). Explanation: The ideology of wealth and the relation to ones social class is heavily imposed on Tom Buchanan as he is a character that is illustrated throughout the novel. Not only does he live a high quality life, but he is automatically associated with the rich such as Mister and Mrs. Sloane and Jordan Baker. Through this portrayal of society it shows how important money is in peoples lives as it is a determining factor to success. Without money, it would be difficult to live a privilege life like Tom does in the novel. As a result, it is evident that Tom depicts the importance of wealth as he is the representative of the privileged individuals in the high class. Example 2: George Wilson Quote 2: He was a blond, spiritless man, anemic and faintly handsome. When he saw *Nick and Tom+, a damp gleam of hope sprang light into his blue eyes (Fitzgerald 25). Explanation: As described in the novel, George Wilson was labeled as a spiritless and lifeless man due to his poverty status. In other words, he is forced to work long hours every day with little reward/salary which reflects his low social class. (Mention that Tom does not look up to him when they meet each other, he jokingly calls Wilson an old man and says hes so dumb he doesnt even know hes alive

(Fitzgerald 26). Without a doubt, money plays a substantial role in ones life as it affects the perception of others on the them. Quote 3 (Extra) : He stayed in [the small Lutheran College of St. Olaf] for two weeks, dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny and despising the janitors work with which he was to play his way through (Fitzgerald 99). Argument 1: Text 2 Topic: Similarly the characters in the Dead Man Walking are all labeled to be under a certain social class based on how wealthy they are. Example 1: Patrick Sonnier, a poor death row inmate was wrongfully convicted for rape and murder due to his low standing in society. Quote 1: Millard Farmer, a famous defense attorney explained that 99 percent of death row inmates are poor. They get the kind of defense they pay for. He then continues Every person is supposed to have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel, but the courts by imposing such impossible procedural strictures have reamed out that right for the lower class (Prejean 47). Explanation 1: Justice did not exist as wealth is essential to whether or not the accused gets convicted or sentenced to death. Without money, Patrick was unable to hire an effective defense counsel to prove him innocent. No defense counsel was willing to take on his case because he was part of a lower class individual and they did not wish to aid him without pay/reward. This shows how wealth can greatly impact ones life and future as it is an obstacle for many people. In comparison to George Wilson from The Great Gatsby, both characters show a similar relationship as they are both classified as the lower class. Both characters were looked down upon due to their social class as they lived in poverty all their life. Example 2: The government Quote 2: when the residents of St. Thomas are killed, the newspaper barely takes notice, whereas when white citizens are killed there is often a front page story (Prejean 9). Explanation 2: Due to societys emphasis on white dominance in the 1970s, the government had control and power over the media. When residents from St. Thomas are abused, the media barely takes notice as most residents are Negros. This illustrates the role of the government as they represent the high class individuals who constantly manipulate the media with money in order to maintain their societal stand. In terms of characters Fitzgerald and Prejean illustrates Tom Buchanan and the government quite alike as both characters in the novels were superior and had more power in society due to their wealthy statuses as they are able to manipulate people. Tom is able to manipulate daisy and myrtle while the government manipulates the media to maintain their status quo. Quote 3 (Extra): I also realize that by changing residence I am not changing my commitment to stand with the poor and work for justice (Prejean 125).

Argument 2: Text 1 Topic: Example 1: Comparison of Households (West Egg vs. East Egg) Quote 1: I lived at the West-Egg well less fashionable of the two (Fitzgerald 5). Explanation 1: Nick Carraway compares his own household with the other households in the East. He considers his residence as a less fashionable and small in comparison with Daisy and Toms mansion in the East. As illustrated in the novel, Nicks social class would be determined based on where he lived. By living further east, it represented wealth. The area in which Nick Carraway lived in was the West-Egg. Residents in the West- Egg are labeled as the new-rich while the residents in the East-Egg are labeled as old/born rich. Certainly, people from the West-Egg had a lower place in society compared to the east as people from the East-Egg often displayed a wealthier side due to their broad connections unlike the West. Example 2: Valley of Ashes Quote 2: This is the valley of ashes a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat *+ where ashes take forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke *+ and comes to rest, and the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades which screens their obscure operations from your sight (Fitzgerald 23). Explanation 2: The valley of ashes is an area described as a desolate, lifeless and grey industrialized area. This setting signifies the lower class as all the residents associated in that area are considered to be ash-gray men. The valley of ashes represents the lower classes in America as the industrialized area is usually associated with poverty. Quote 3 (Extra): It was a mansion, inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbors lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires (Fitzgerald 5). Argument 2: Text 2 Example 1: Louisiana (Louisville) St Thomas Quote 1: The colored people who worked for us lived *+ in shacks out in *Louisville+ or, in nigger town in the city (Prejean 20). Explanation 1: Without a doubt, the setting of a novel is a vital component as it represents the portrayal of society. According to this quote, the colored people who lived in Louisville were considered as the poor working class. Through the analysis of this quote it is evident that Louisville is categorized as where the poor live ultimately deciding where they stand in society. The Negros are automatically described as the lower class due to their location.

Quote 2: Louisiana had low-income housing, employment training and subsidies. Between 1975 and 1991 Louisiana expanded its adult prisons from three to twelve, with prison populations increasing by 249 percent (Prejean 9). Explanation 2: Certainly, the setting plays a huge role on the portrayal of the characters social class as their location directly reflects how wealthy they are. In addition, the criminality of a city reveals the nature of society and the type of residents who settle there. Due to the high prison rates in Louisiana, the state is inevitably considered as where criminals who struggle for money and low class individuals settle in as that is the only area they can afford to live in. Although both Fitzgerald and Prejeans novel illustrate the importance wealth plays on determining the characters social class, their topics of focus differ. Through the setting, it is evident that Fitzgerald focuses on revealing locations of the wealthy individuals while Prejean focuses on the location that exposes the locations where the poor individuals live. Quote 3 (Extra) : Robert Willie was sentenced to the electric chair mainly because he was from Louisville (Prejean 163). Argument 3: Text 1 Topic: Through the use of symbolism, Fitzgerald reveals the belief that where people stand is society is strictly based on how wealthy they are. Example 1: Hydroplane Quote 1: One morning late in July, Gatsby gorgeous car lurched up the rocky drive to my door and *+ it was the first time he called on me, though I had *+ mounted in his hydroplane (Fitzgerald 63-64). Explanation 1: The hydroplane symbolizes materialism as it is mentioned quite a few times throughout the novel. The hydroplane is a symbol that defines where Gatsby stands in society. It is used to prove his wealth and to impress others so that they will refer him as a high class individual. Example 2: Car Quote 2: It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and too-boxes, and terraced a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns (Fitzgerald 64). Explanation 2: Nick explains the beauty of Gatsby car as everyone stares in admiration. The car symbolizes Jay Gatsbys success in life and that he has worked his way up the social ladder. Even though Nick Carraway was in the upper middle class, he also admired Gatsbys car as he looks up to him due to his high living standards. Quote 3 (Extra): Theyre such beautiful shirts, she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. It makes me sad because Ive never seen suchsuch beautiful shirts before (Fitzgerald 92).

Argument 3: Text 2 Topic: Likewise, Sister Helen Prejean also uses objects from the text to symbolize and emphasize the idea of how wealth determines the characters lie on the social ladder. Example 1: Electric Chair Quote 1: Pat would now be facing the electric chair (Prejean 48). Explanation 2: The electric chair in this novel symbolizes upcoming death and suspense. Not all death row inmates are obliged to this cruel punishment. According Sister Helen Prejean only poor death row inmates were assigned to this type of cruel punishment because the high class individuals (whites) used the lower class as an example to deter murder. The use of the electric chair shows the clear distinction of certain social classes and how it relates to poverty and wealth. Example 2: Prison Quote 2: The prison was made of tiny concrete cells (including a cement bunk) with only a slit of window near the ceiling. When I walked in, it was all gray, cement and bars (Prejean 27). Explanation 2: Similar to the cars and hydroplane used in Fitzgeralds novel, these symbols were used to depict the distinction of the rich and poor. Fitzgerald uses materials and objects to define the rich and the poor as he associated these objects as materials where only the rich wouldve afforded. Despite these similarities, the use of symbolism in Dead Man Walking was portrayed differently as Sister Helen Prejean focused on the distinction of the rich and poor through how the punishments for death row inmates were decided based on wealth and societal background. Quote 3 (Extra): I walk past the guards station and wait outside the gate of the fenced-in yard surrounding the death row building *+ I walk through and the gate clangs shut behind me. Inside the building I am accompanied by a guard through a series of gates down a hallway (Prejean 27). Conclusion: In conclusion, Fitzgerald and Prejean evidently ties the relationship of wealth and social class together as they emphasize that wealth is directly related to where a character lies on the social ladder.