Essay About Love of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby – For the Love of Money F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous novel, The Great Gatsby (1925), is about many things that have to do with American life in the "Roaring Twenties," things such as the abuse of alcohol and the pursuit of other pleasures, including that elusive entity, the "American dream." Mainly it is the story of Jay Gatsby, told by Gatsby's friend and neighbor, Nick Carraway, a bonds salesman in New York. Three other important characters are Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Myrtle Wilson. Nick is distantly related to Daisy, whose wealthy husband, Tom, went to college with Nick. Myrtle is married to a mechanic but is sleeping with Tom. Fitzgerald's novel seems to affirm the Biblical adage that the love of money is the root of all evil, for his characters value money inordinately. And this attitude is a central moral concern of the novel. Fitzgerald's characters erroneously believe money can buy them love, friends, and happiness. Gatsby tries to buy Daisy's love throughout the book. In the first part of the book Gatsby throws a number of large parties, hoping Daisy will come to one of them so he can pursue her. Unsuccessful, he manipulates Nick into arranging a meeting between himself and Daisy. Nick has Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby to tea. Subsequently, Gatsby invites them to go for a ride with him. Thereafter, Gatsby tries to drive a wedge between Daisy and Tom, but though she claims to love him, her love is as superficial as the image Gatsby has created with his money. Money itself is neither moral nor immoral, but the use Gatsby puts money to involves moral issues about the sanctity of marriage that go far beyond the mere fact that he is rich and uses his money to gain want he wants. Gatsby also tries unsuccessfully to win friends through his parties. Gatsby is lonely and he tries to fill his loneliness with his parties. In effect, he tries to buy friends with his lavish entertaining. And, although his parties are successful in the number of guests (invited and uninvited) and in their apparent enjoyment of the parties, Gatsby makes no significant friends through these entertainments. Instead, people speculate as to how Gatsby got his money and as to whether or not he is a killer. Indeed, he has got his money illegally--through bootlegging and other immoral ways.
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