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.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
During Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, it is apparent to be an absurd time for the wealthy. The shallowness of money, riches, and a place in a higher social class were probably the most important components in most lives at that period of time. This is expressed clearly by Fitzgerald, especially through his characters, which include Myrtle Wilson, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, and of course, Jay Gatsby. This novel was obviously written to criticize and condemn the ethics of the rich.
Gatsby realizes that life of the high class demands wealth to become priority; wealth becomes his superficial goal overshadowing his quest for love. He establishes his necessity to acquire wealth, which allows him to be with Daisy. The social elite of Gatsby's time sacrifice morality in order to attain wealth. Tom Buchanan, a man from an "enormously wealthy" family, seems to Nick to have lost all sense of being kind (Fitzgerald 10). Nick describes Tom's physical attributes as a metaphor for his true character when remarking that Tom had a "hard mouth and a supercilious manner...arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face...always leaning aggressively forward...a cruel body...[h]is speaking voice...added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed" (Fitzgerald 11). The wealth Tom has inherited causes him to become arrogant and condescending to others, while losing his morals. Rather than becoming immoral from wealth as Tom has, Gatsby engages in criminal activity as his only path to being rich. His need for money had become so great that he "was in the drug business" (Fitzgerald 95). Furthermore, he lies to Nick about his past in order to cover up his criminal activity. Gatsby claims to others that he has inherited his wealth, but Nick discovers "[h]is parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people" (Fitzgerald 104). Gatsby enters a world where money takes precedence over moral integrity. Materialism has already overshadowed a portion of his spiritual side. A quest for true love is doomed for failure in the presence of immorality. Once wealth has taken priority over integrity, members of the high social class focus on immediate indulgences, rather than on long-term pleasures of life such as love.
As a young man, Jay Gatsby was poor with nothing but his love for Daisy. He had attempted to woe her, but a stronger attraction to money led her to marry another man. This did not stop Gatsby’s goal of winning this woman for himself though, and he decided to improve his life anyway he could until he could measure up to Daisy’s standards. He eventually gained connections in what would seem to be the wrong places, but these gave him the opportunity he needed to "get rich quick." Gatsby’s enormous desire for Daisy controlled his life to the point that he did not even question the immorality of the dealings that he involved himself in to acquire wealth. Eventually though, he was able to afford a "castle" in a location where he could pursue Daisy effectively. His life ambition had successfully moved him to the top of the "new money" class of society, but he lacked the education of how to promote his wealth properly. Despite the way that Gatsby flaunted his money, he did catch Daisy’s attention. A chaotic affair followed for a while until Daisy was overcome by pressures from Gatsby to leave her husband and by the realization that she belonged to "old money" and a more proper society.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Money has never made man happy, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness." This is arguably one of the most cliché quotes of all time. If money cannot provide happiness, then what exactly can it do? The characters of Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan open a door to a world in which money was the sole motivation for their success and the only reason for their power. When the reader uses a Marxist critical lens during chapter four of F. Scott 's Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby, the social hierarchy reveals how Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan utilize the importance of money and social power to manipulate others in their lives.
What is later revealed is that Gatsby’s wealth and luxurious lifestyle is all in the name of getting Daisy, Tom Buchanan’s wife, to fall in love with him. But in the end, even with all his money and power, Gatsby is not able to get the girl. What this brings to light is, was Gatsby’s money truly worth anything? “I love her and that 's the beginning and end of everything” (The Great Gatsby, Chapter ) This quote from Jay Gatsby shows that his entire life is centered around Daisy. That his only motive for the things that he does, for the massive parties that he throughs, for working to become incredibly wealthy, is to have Daisy fall in love with him. Gatsby’s life is one that is incredibly lavish. It is full of expensive amenities many would only dream of having. But Jay Gatsby is not living this fabulous lifestyle for himself. He is living it for Daisy, and only for Daisy. Gatsby’s only desire in life is to have Daisy be in love with him, and he chooses to live the way he does because he believes that is what she wants. Gatsby spends money at wild abandon simply to make an effort to impress Daisy. He throughs incredibly immense parties, with hopes that Daisy and Daisy alone will be impressed. But what is troubling about Gatsby is that, unlike most books, he doesn’t get the girl. Gatsby is, despite his entire life being dedicated to getting the one thing
The origin of wealth is a key factor for deciding which social class each character in The Great Gatsby belong to. Jay Gatsby is the character who made the greatest social mobility. The other characters use him for his parties and hospitality but they do not consider him as an equal. This is something that is evident particularly on page 66 in the novel when Gatsby tells his story to Nick Carraway, the novel's narrator, and Nick describes Gatsby's phrases as so threadbare they lack credibility. No matter how much money Gatsby makes he is never going to be good enough for either Daisy or the other characters.
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.
Fitzgerald also puts the immortality of old as well as new money front and center later in the book. It starts with tom cheating on his wife, but also advances later when Daisy ends up killing Myrtle. She allows Gatsby to cover up that she was actually the one driving. Furthermore, after Gatsby's death Nick does not come forward to say what actually happened. "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made" (187-188). That means multiple people connected to old money have decaying morals. Moreover, it shows how Gatsby, even coming from new money, has a corrupted sense of morality much in the same way as the old money characters. These decays in morals are partly contributed to the fact that most old money people are ignorant towards lower classes.
From early civilizations to modern day social systems, economic status has always been a determining factor of power. Kings, queens, dukes, princes, and princesses possessed the greatest amount of wealth and thus the greatest amount of power over others. By having large amounts of wealth, royalty could control the actions of others below their economic status. This fact even applies the functions of modern American society. For instance, regardless of the specific circumstance, wealthy individuals have power over the actions of those below them. They control others by buying their loyalty or simply through others’ envy of them. Such principles can be applied to both men and women of wealth. The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Great Gatsby is criticism of old money and new money because not everyone does the same type of stuff. The old money seems to think that they have more power over the new money. Old money does not seem to care what comes out of their mouths. Old money acts if their all grown up in a boring way. Before saying anything the new money is careful with what they say because they have been in the same position of working class before. New money seems to have fun no matter what's going on.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail” (Kinky Friedman). Most people think that money is the solution to make a positive impact to yourself and others but this is not true. The book “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald shows how money can not buy happiness. This book proves that money can be used to buy materialistic items but is useless if those items do not make one happy. This shows how money can affect people in negative ways.
First, all the people in The Great Gatsby thought that the money they had could bring them the true happiness they wanted. Tom Buchanan was the worst of all though. He always thought his money could get them out of any problem. He shows this when he says, "And what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time"(Fitzgerald 140).
The power of love truly drives someone to become something even if they come from nothing. The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel set in the time of the Roaring 20’s. It was a story of a young, poor man by the name of Jay Gatz motivated to end up with the woman of his dreams, Daisy Fay. Daisy left him for a man of wealth and high social class, Tom Buchanan. He did everything that he possibly could have in his power to win Daisy, but it was never enough for Daisy to demote herself from old money to new money. All of the characters lived despairing, unfaithful lives all in the title of social status and wealth, they did not care about love only their title. The obsession for wealth causes people to make
In the book, The Great Gatsby, written by F.Scott Fitzgerald, there seems to be conflict between old money and new money. New money meaning that they have inquired wealth recently, and old money meaning they have inherited the money from their ancestors and have been building up their powerful social connections for many years. Fitzgerald portrays new money as being reckless and unwise with their wealth by lavishly spending their money on new cars,new clothes and parties. On the other side of the spectrum, old money individuals are presented as being more responsible and knowing how to handle their money. The difference between these two social classes goes beyond the way they spend money, but, in their personalities also; the new money groups tend to be more caring and lacking in social graces while old money are deeply selfish and inconsiderate. This conflict between the two ranks is very interesting in that even though the book takes place in the 1920s, this concept is fully evident in our society today.