F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Importance of Money

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Gatsby’s Money Three works Cited Materialism started to become a main theme of literature in the modernist era. During this time the economy was good causing jazz to be popular, bootlegging common, and an affair meaning nothing (Gevaert). This negative view of money and the gross materialism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby serves to be a modern theme in the novel. Throughout the novel, the rich possess a sense of carelessness and believe that money yields happiness. During the whole story, the rich have a sense of carelessness of money and material goods that are usually unobtainable by most. Prime examples of this carelessness are the huge parties that Gatsby throws; everybody who is anybody would attend: the party guests “[arrive] at twilight . . .” (Fitzgerald 111) and stay until daybreak, and “sometimes they [come] and [go] without having met Gatsby at all, [come] for the party with a simplicity of heart that [is] its own ticket of admission” (45). Gatsby puts enormous amounts of money into these parties, even though he does not enjoy them one bit. He, however, continues to have them because he believes happiness can be bought (101), that the glitz and glitter will ultimately bring Daisy to love him (Swilley). To Gatsby, he must continue to throw these parties. Gatsby is new money and he has to show off his money and prove to the world that he is rich (Karen). In addition to his elaborate parties, he wears extravagant pink suits with gold ties and drives an eye-catching yellow car. All this he does in order to gain Daisy’s attention (Gatsbylvr). In contrast, the opposite is true for Tom. Karen says that Tom is old money and, therefore, does not have to show the world that he has money. Tom does not need Gatsby’s flashiness; his house is arranged to his liking and he seems to be more conventional -- Tom rides horses as opposed to driving a flashy car (Karen). The idea of money being able to bring happiness is another prevalent modernist theme found in The Great Gatsby. According to Sparknotes, Fitzgerald acts as the poster child for this idea. He, himself in his own life, believes this as well. He puts off marrying his wife until he has enough money to support her (SparkNotes). Fitzgerald’s delay to marry his wife and Gatsby’s quest to buy Daisy’s love are parallel (Gatsbylvr).

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