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Word Count: 722
The more things change the more they stay the sameThe Times They are a-Changin or so 60s singersongwriter Bob Dylan thought But have we really matured enough as people to say that racism and prejudice are no longer words in the English vocabulary Most people like to think so but the facts paint a different picture The novel The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald can be used to illustrate these pointsIn the mid-20s when American author F Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby it was common to use words to describe African American people that today would be seen as offensive and degrading Mainly the sole purpose of using such words were to depict African Americans as objects not human beings When Nick describes the two Bucks and a Negro girl passing them in a horse-drawn carriage with a white chauffeur he thinks to himself Anything can happen now that weve slid over this bridgeanything at all This shows how people in Fitzgeralds time reacted to free black families Nick describes the black males as Bucks because thats the name people used when they auctioned them off as slaves He couldnt just refer to them as men or gentlemen because it was inappropriate to give blacks a high statusThroughout the novel discussing the downfall of the white race is a common topic Tom and Daisy share thoughts about the downfall over dinner and Tom states that If we dont look out the white race will be-will be utterly submerged and Daisy follows that comment up with Weve got to beat them minorities down Because nobody looks the same and because people fear anything different they had no choice but to fear minorities If you were not wealthy and white you were fearedBut racism wasnt the only degrading thing in the book characters spoke condescendingly about peoples financial status as well If you lived in East Egg you were wealthy and glamorous If you lived
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