The Great Gatsby
The world is filled with cheapskates, phonies, and two-faced people. Many use others for their own benefits. In The Great Gatsby, through the motif of superficiality, Fitzgerald critiques the theme that displaying materialism and superficiality can ruin true love and a chance at true love. Objects cannot define a relationship; it should be the feelings developed that defines the relationship of two people. The characteristic of materialism is a barrier for true love between two people. Nick Carraway has just moved to a West Egg, and his mysterious neighbor is Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s long living dream is to rekindle his love and relationship with Daisy Buchanan, who is currently married to Tom Buchanan. He attempts to pursue his relationship with Daisy through his unexplained wealth. However, their love couldn’t be true because of their focus on “things” rather than each other.
Gatsby tries to make Daisy love him through his money and excessive spending on non essential, things. When he and Daisy first reconnect their relationship, he brings her over to his house to show off the clothes in his closet: “He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. (Fitzgerald 92).” Gatsby is throwing his shirts everywhere to show that he has a tremendous amount of money ...
... middle of paper ...
... this motif of love is explored because it shows how people in this world use others for their money.
In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows that a materialistic mindset will corrupt the chance at true love. Gatsby tried to get Daisy to love him again by showing off his money and failed because he didn’t put his heart and self into their relationship. Myrtle mistakenly married a man whom she thought was wealthy and turned out he was poor. She quickly attempted to evade their marriage, but then had an affair with Tom Buchanan, a well known rich man. Fitzgerald demonstrates how none of these relationships worked out because of the materialistic ways of these characters. Finally, this theme is explored because it proves how true love isn’t real with fake values. True love should be two people who love each other unconditionally and is not based on money-oriented things.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Andrew T. Crosland, an expert on the Jazz Age writings of author F.Scott Fitzgerald, wrote that Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby included over 200 references to cars (Crosland). This is not surprising as the automobile, like the flapper were enticing novelties at the time this book was written. The main characters in The Great Gatsby who, by the way, all drive cars are Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Myrtle and George Wilson. Attractive, yet enigmatic, Gatsby tries to win the love of an aristocratic woman, who rebuffs Gatsby for her upper class husband. This leads to Gatsby’s tragic murder after he is falsely accused of killing Myrtle with his Rolls Royce. The automobile, as
Nothing is more important, to most people, than friendships and family, thus, by breaking those bonds, it draws an emotional response from the readers. Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan had a relationship before he went off to fight in the war. When he returned home, he finds her with Tom Buchanan, which seems to make him jealous since he still has feelings for Daisy. He wanted Daisy “to go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you” (Fitzgerald 118) Gatsby eventually tells Tom that his “wife doesn’t love [him]” and that she only loves Gatsby (Fitzgerald 121). But the unpleasant truth is that Daisy never loved anyone, but she loved something: money. Daisy “wanted her life shaped and the decision made by some force of of money, of unquestionable practicality” (Fitzgerald 161). The Roaring Twenties were a time where economic growth swept the nation and Daisy was looking to capitalize on that opportunity. Her greed for material goods put her in a bind between two wealthy men, yet they are still foolish enough to believe that she loved them. Jay Gatsby is a man who has no relationships other than one with Nick Caraway, so he is trying to use his wealth to lure in a greedy individual to have love mend his
Gatsby’s distinct charisma indicates his struggle against moral corruption and sets him apart from the moral decay evident in the upper class. Owl eyes is very surprised when he finds out all the books in Gatsby’s library are real, “‘The books?...Absolutely real--have pages and everything...It’s a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco’” (45). While most of the upper class uses outward displays of wealth to cover their inner moral corruption, Gatsby uses his extravagant opulence to mask his love for Daisy. In this way his morals and ability to conceal his love prove his willingness and drive to acquire Daisy’s love and acceptance. The majority of the upper class suffers from moral poverty, lacking internal morals to keep them grounded acting out in ways that diminishes their social status. Gatsby is so close to Daisy his whole life yet he is unable to get any closer until their relationship is destroyed forever. “I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock...his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him” (180). Gatsby continually reaches out for Daisy with hope and optimism, but the distance between his dock and the Buchanan’s does not get any closer symbolic for the
How does reading a story benefits an individual and improve his or her daily life? Extensive reading does not only serve as an entertainment purpose, but it is also beneficial to many readers because reading fiction can help enhance a person’s understanding of the type of society the reader lives in. For example, the famous novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is regarded as a brilliant work of literature, for it offers a detailed glimpse of the American life in the 1920s and comments on various social problems during that time period. The novel tells the story of a mysterious millionaire named Jay Gatsby who lives in the fictional town of West Egg, located on Long Island, during the summer of 1922. Gatsby wants to pursue his first
“Gatsby makes pure ideal of loving money than before, because he wants to make up for the past. He believes that he can buy the love of Daisy” (Na). Little did he know that one can’t repeat the past because the past is already behind him. Gatsby has a grand vision for his life and Daisy was part of his plan; he wants Daisy’s love but aims for a social high status and power by marrying her. In the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, a central theme involves the idea that money can’t buy love; this is portrayed by Nick Carraway’s narration of the infidelity in the novel, Daisy’s betrayal of Gatsby and the ending result of Gatsby’s death.
This is an example of objectification. Knowing that Daisy has somewhat moved on from her past with him, Gatsby tries to relive it and form an unrealistic idea of her. By doing this, he throws massive parties in his mansion and purchases expensive shirts in hopes of Daisy becoming a part of his dream. When Gatsby has Daisy, he tries to manipulate her to conform to be the perfect ideal girl. In Chapter 7, Gatsby is making decisions for Daisy without her input and consent, claiming that Daisy is leaving Tom when it wasn’t true. He also expected Daisy to say that she never loved Tom when, once again, was not true. He truly did not care for her opinion, only on achieving his dream. Though it may have seemed that Daisy is the one that destroyed Gatsby’s dream, it’s really Gatsby who causes the destruction to his American Dream in which Daisy was a victim
Materialism has a negative influence on the characters in the novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “The most terrible thing about materialism even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offers a prospect of deliverance.” This quote, stated by Malcolm Muggeridge, says that people get bored with the things that they have when they get new things all of the time. When they get bored with these things, they turn to stuff like sex, alcohol, and drugs. In The Great Gatsby, Myrtle, Daisy, and Gatsby are greatly influenced by money, and material things. The negative influence that materialism has on these characters is shown throughout the entire novel.
His possessions symbolize the power of money, and materialism. Gatsby buys things to impress his peers, mainly Daisy. One night when Daisy does not enjoy Gatsby’s party, Gatsby becomes frustrated when Nick tells him he cannot recreate the past with her. Gatsby then protests that he can because his money can accomplish anything for Daisy (Fitzgerald 109-110). Gatsby has this whole idea that money controls everything, which is true because of their society. Because of that he feels that he can win Daisy by just buying her things, and that she will love him just because he has a lot of nice material possessions. Gatsby tries to attract her by showing off his things, and the huge mansion where he throws extravagant parties. When Gatsby showed Daisy his shirts “Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. ‘They’re such beautiful shirts.’ She sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before’ ” (Fitzgerald 92). Daisy further proves Gatsby’s point that he can buy her over with material possessions. Daisy falls more in love with Gatsby by just seeing his closet. The realization that Gatsby has more money, makes Daisy sad because she’s been missing out with Tom, so she is swayed by Gatsby’s material possessions to be with Gatsby because he is more successful because he as more money. Gatsby empowers materialism by making it the leading power to win Daisy over by just buying things. John Pidgeon says, “in the American dream there is always the belief that the only truly worthy
The pure love, which was the main driving force to get rich, makes him to choose between morals and selfishness. Firstly, Gatsby tries to return the love of his life by all means despite the fact that she is married and has a child. The affair with married woman does not make him feel guilty because the pursuit of money made him stale enough not to think about high morals. He tries to impress her with wealth rather than his own personal features (Fitzgerald 92). It characterizes him as a person with illegibility in methods to achieve the goal. However, his dream of happiness in personal life was broken and brought disappointment as Daisy seemed more impressed with his shirts rather than his diligence to reach the success and stand on the same step of the social welfare stairs as she. “It makes me sad because I have never seen such-such beautiful shirts before” Daisy’s words convey the grotesque satirical reality of their first date after five years (Fitzgerald 92). Secondly, the reader can observe his unlawful activity; Gatsby unscrupulous in a ways to get rich; Nick Caraway finds that later when some person calls the Gatsby’s house and mistakenly tells about their fraudulent activities (Fitzgerald 166). The scandalous scene of revelation of the affair between Daisy and Gatsby shows how money spoiled Gatsby; he did not care of his enrichment methods. “You let him go
He writes, through the voice of Gatsby, that “her voice is full of money” (127), implying that Daisy speaks with an eloquence and elegance found only in the voice of those born wealthy. Gatsby inherently connects Daisy with the idea of wealth and money, and shows a desire to be seen as one born with money. Hence, the reader can conclude that Gatsby is in love with what Daisy represents: wealth and the high class. By associating Daisy with the high society, Fitzgerald indirectly reveals his attitude towards America of the 1920s. He implies that similar to how Daisy chooses material pleasure and societal benefit as opposed to a real feeling that brings true joy, the people of the 1920s prioritize wealth and fleeting pleasure over concrete feelings that bring true happiness. He even takes his commentary a step further, as the “true” feeling represented in The Great Gatsby is love. Ironically, the love depicted in this society is corrupt and fake. Thus, Fitzgerald states that the ideologies and values of the American 1920s will result in its downfall, just as the corrupt and fake love between Gatsby and Daisy results in the downfall of Gatsby. Furthermore, through his portrayal of Daisy’s inadvertent cruelty towards both Myrtle and Gatsby, Fitzgerald parallels the unconscious depravity of the high society and its negative impact on America. This is seen
Gatsby hasn’t just lost his morals but also his sense of family because he has created such an elaborate illusion. Catherine scrutinizes the couples of the story, "Neither of them can stand the person they're married to" (Fitzgerald pg 37). The marriage had become very weak when Daisy "had told [Gatsby] that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded" (Fitzgerald, pg 125). More than his morals, Gatsby loses all sense of family, his wealth has metaphorically become it. He relies on his money rather than a family to bring comfort and security to his life. Gatsby takes advantage of his wealth to replace his deteriorated spirit and emotions. As a result of shallow family relationships, all love for that matter becomes based on social status.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tells the story of a man of meager wealth who chases after his dreams, only to find them crumble before him once he finally reaches them. Young James Gatz had always had dreams of being upper class, he didn't only want to have wealth, but he wanted to live the way the wealthy lived. At a young age he ran away from home; on the way he met Dan Cody, a rich sailor who taught him much of what he would later use to give the world an impression that he was wealthy. After becoming a soldier, Gatsby met an upper class girl named Daisy - the two fell in love. When he came back from the war Daisy had grown impatient of waiting for him and married a man named Tom Buchanan. Gatsby now has two coinciding dreams to chase after - wealth and love. Symbols in the story, such as the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, the contrast between the East Egg and West Egg, and the death of Myrtle, Gatsby, and Wilson work together to expose a larger theme in the story. Gatsby develops this idea that wealth can bring anything - status, love, and even the past; but what Gatsby doesn't realize is that wealth can only bring so much, and it’s this fatal mistake that leads to the death of his dreams.
...s with all of the parties and the pursuit of wealth, power, and pleasure in an era of change. The novel shows the relationship of Gatsby and Daisy as a symbol of this pursuit of wealth, power, and pleasure. The reader sees the pursuit of wealth through Daisy wanting Gatsby and Tom, both of whom have money. The pursuit of power is shown through Daisy’s decision of Tom over Gatsby as Gatsby is seen as a lower social status with little power compared to Tom who has tremendous power. Pleasure is seen through the extramarital affairs of Tom and Myrtle as well as Daisy and Gatsby. The Great Gatsby, through Tom and Daisy, reveals the human condition of the pursuit of wealth, power, and pleasure through these examples and shows that the “American Dream” is not possible in a life where one’s surroundings are pushing him/her towards a life of wealth, power, and pleasure.
Gatsby is a dreamer, he dreams that one day he and Daisy will be able to be together once again. To achieve this dream Gatsby has made himself a rich man. He knows that in order to win Daisy back he must be wealthy and of high social stature. Gatsby becomes rich, has a beautiful mansion, nice things, things like shirts “They’re such beautiful shirts. . . it makes me sad because I’ve never seen such-such beautiful clothes” (pg.98).Gatsby believes his dream will come true because of all the money and nice things he has. The way that Gatsby becomes rich is in a way the demise of his dream. Gatsby becomes wealthy by participating in organized crime, including distributing illegal alcohol and trading in stolen securities. Daisy eventually learns about this and it is one of the reasons she will never again be with Gatsby. The other reason is Daisy a...
The characters in The Great Gatsby take a materialistic attitude that causes them to fall into a downward spiral of empty hope and zealous obsession. Fitzgerald contrasts Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway to display how the materialistic attitude of the 1920’s leads many to hopeless depression and how materialism never constitutes happiness. Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby, a character who spends his entire adult life raising his status, only to show the stupidity of the materialistic attitude. Rather than hard work, Gatsby turns to crime and bootlegging in order to earn wealth and status to get the attention of Daisy Buchanon, a woman he falls in love with five years earlier. "He [Gatsby] found her [Daisy] excitingly desirable. He went to her house… There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool then the other bedrooms… It excited him too that many men had already loved Daisy—It increased her value in his eyes" (155-156). Gatsby falls in love with everything about Daisy. It is not only her that Gatsby desires, it is her riches and possessions as well. The fact the many other gentlemen want Daisy simply increases her worth in Gatsby’s eyes. All of these things are the reasons Gatsby "commit[s] himself to the following of a grail" (156). The grail symbolizes a quest for perfection, the...