How Is Money Corrupt In The Great Gatsby

773 Words4 Pages
Patrick Kane
English 11R
Ms. Skolnik
2/26/14
“Money so they say is the root of all evil today.” - Pink Floyd, “Money”

Money rules the world. Sometimes money’s influence can be damaging. Without responsibility, the power of money can be abused, and this abuse may lead to corruption. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the character Tom Buchanan is a good example of how money corrupts, since he never has to face the consequences of his bad decisions and actions since his money lets him get away with everything.
Throughout the book, we see Tom getting away with various terrible and immoral things because people overlook his immorality because of his wealth. Tom does not take his marriage seriously until it is threatened, because Daisy has never challenged his infidelities or left him because of their comfortable wealthy life. Tom even cheated on Daisy during their honeymoon. Jordan confides to Nick: “A week after I left Santa Barbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken-she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel (Fitzgerald ).” Tom is a brutal, uncaring man devoid of all sense of decency and responsibility. He has no real love for his wife in fact almost openly unfaithful (Gillespie and Naden). He feels that his money gives him the power to run around with other women, and Daisy seems to care more about his money than she does him, so he feels he has permission.
Tom’s money also leads him to think he’s better than everyone else and is therefore uncaring about what happens to the little people like George & Myrtle Wilson, and is disdainful of those who try and earn...

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... Tom’s money also corrupts him because he feels superior to others and justified for his wrong acts due to this sense of superiority stemming from his inherited wealth. His ultimate act of corruption, his carelessness in destroying the lives of the Wilsons and Gatsby. Tom’s natural brutality was able to fully come out due to the protection of his wealth - Tom Buchanan was able to get away with being careless because his money shielded him from having to care.

Works cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner paperback Fiction, 1925. Print.
Gillespie, John T., and Corinne J. Naden. “Overview: The Great Gatsby.”
Characters in Young Adult Literature. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Mar.2014
Ramos, Christine. “Tom Buchanan: The Ruthless Protector,” reading.cornell.edu/reading-project
06/Gatsby/documents/Ramos pdf
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