The Problem With Money Explored in The Great Gatsby

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In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author implies that wealth plays a much lesser role in the decisions of individuals who earned their wealth. He demonstrates this through Jay Gatsby’s thoughts about his newfound wealth and Tom Buchanan’s beliefs about his old, generational wealth. Jay Gatsby’s thoughts about his newfound wealth illustrates that wealth plays a much lesser role in the decisions of individuals who earned their wealth. In Gatsby’s economic uprising Daisy Buchanan was constantly on his mind and his image of her kept growing in its reputation, yet his wealth had little influence on his views and his decisions which is shown later in the day after Myrtle has been ran over when Gatsby says, “I’m just going to wait here and see if he tries to bother her about that unpleasantness this afternoon. She’s locked herself into her room, and if he tries any brutality she’s going to turn the light out and on again” (Fitzgerald 144). In writing this, Fitzgerald gives us insight into the thought process of Gatsby. Gatsby had come into his wealth through presumed bootlegging and upon acquiring this money Gatsby’s thoughts remained constant, revolving around Daisy regardless of his newfound wealth. Gatsby being the same man he was before acquiring his wealth decided to stay in the yard of the Buchanan’s home to make sure Tom wouldn’t hurt Daisy as Daisy had actually been the one who ran over Myrtle and Gatsby wanted to be sure Daisy would be safe shown when Gatsby says, “See if he tries to bother her.” In this small sample of the dialogue between Gatsby and Nick we can see that Gatsby still enamored with Daisy decided to stay in their yard to protect her maintaining his years old thought process and borderline obses... ... middle of paper ... ...allows us to see how Tom is so influenced by his unearned wealth which leads to a bloated perception of his own importance. Tom had grown up unappreciative of his wealth and realized the powers it held which to him meant he could have affairs as he was this man of affluence. Yet, Tom later realizes how Myrtle and the affair he spawned out of arrogance stemming from his wealth was crumbling. Myrtle had a different life from hers with Tom and with his need for power, “the shock had made him physically sick.” This shock shows how Myrtle not being reliant or dependent on him was a shock to him and so much so that it made him physically sick showing that when an individual doesn’t earn his wealth that wealth plays a much larger part in their decisions compared to those who earned their wealth. Works Cited Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004.
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