Lothrop Stoddard was an American eugenicist known for his theories concerning white supremacy and controlling the impact of minority races in society. His most famous book was The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy published in 1920. This book was about growing numbers of colored people becoming dominant races and possibly overtaking whites. This book is alluded to in Chapter 1 where Tom is reading a book titled The Rise of the Colored Empires. Tom is from a prominent family with old wealth. Historically, and especially during the time period of this novel, elite whites looked down upon minority races and were threatened by their success. The fact that Gatsby and Tom own the same type of literary works suggest that racist attitudes were the status quo and even a symbol of superiority and wealth. The mere appearance of Gatsby’s house even portrays his need for acceptance among other wealthy people, so he willing conforms to their notions and beliefs. Gatsby has paid close attention to many details that will paint him in a light of being more affluent and superior, thus the fact that he owns novels by a eugenicist is not surprising.
Picture of Lothrop Stoddard
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