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The Power of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Powerful Essays
The Power of Money in The Great Gatsby

Ex-President Jimmy Carter knows both the power and the limitations of money. He is also aware that the acquisition of money or material wealth is not a worthwhile goal. This was made clear in his speech to the American people when he stated: "Our great cities and our mighty buildings will avail us not if we lack spiritual strength to subdue mere objects to the higher purposes of humanity" (Harnsberger 14). In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, the author clearly illustrates that Jay Gatsby does not understand the limitations of the power of money. Gatsby believes that money can recreate the past, buy him happiness, and allow him to climb the social ladder in the prominent East Egg.

Jay Gatsby believes he can buy happiness; and this is exhibited through his house, his clothes, and through Daisy. He owns a large portion of finances due to some mysterious source of wealth, and he uses this mystery source to buy his house, his clothes, and Daisy. Gatsby's house, as Fitzgerald describes it, is "a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden" (Fitzgerald 9). This house, as Fitzgerald fabulously enlightens to, is an immaculate symbol of Gatsby's incalculable income. "The house he feels he needs in order to win happiness" (Bewley 24), is an elegant mansion; that of which an excellent symbol of carelessness is displayed and is part of Gatsby's own persona. Every Monday after a party, this house is kept by eight servants. It has its own entrance gate, and is big enough to hold hundreds of people at a time. His careless...

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...rength to subdue mere objects to the higher purposes of humanity" (Harnsberger 14).

Works Cited

Bewley, Marious. "Scott Fitzgerald Critisism of America." F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ed. Arthur Mizener. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963.

Bruccoli, Matthew J. Preface. The Great Gatsby. By F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. vii-xvi.

Cowley, Malcom. "Third Act Epilogue." New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,1963.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas, eds. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett, 1994.

Lehan, Richard. The Great Gatsby: The Limits of Wonder. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.

Piper, Henry Dan. ed. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: The Novel, the Critics, the Background. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970
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