What Is The Theme Of Materialism In The Great Gatsby

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The roaring twenties were all about the shallow pursuit of wealth and pleasure all coated with greed and corruption resulting in the destruction of the “American Dream”, creating the biggest wealth gap in history. The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald is a romantic affair between individuals set in the roaring 20’s in long island New York; geographically the area is divided between 2 groups, West Egg and East Egg, the geographic division symbolizes the social division between 2 groups of old money and new money, Jay Gatsby is among the new found wealthy while his perfect idealized lifelong love interest Daisy is from old money, Jay Gatsby uses his new found wealth to obtain the object he most truly desires, conclusively resulting in his underserving…show more content…
Fitzgerald criticizes wealthy individuals that they lack morals and have no care or empathy for other justified through the actions of Tom and Daisy, Fitzgerald also criticizes that many Americans have destroyed the American Dream through their unstoppable lust for wealth and materialism. Aside from the social problems of moral decay and materialism the idea of identity and social image and status is very important in The Great Gatsby and in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot both Gatsby and Prufrock struggle with their past or present image as illustrated in the following quotes, “Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)Do I Dare.”(Prufrock). And the quote from The Great Gatsby, “James Gatz – that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and at the specific moment that witnessed the beginning of his career – when he saw Dan Cody 's yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior”(Fitzgerald 94). Both characters are concerned with their identity with Gatsby going as far as changing his name and reinventing himself and Prufrock criticizing the way he looks and telling himself it’s not worth the embarrassment the similar idea that binds both of their problems is love and the quest to achieve it the only thing that separates these two apart is how far is one willing to go to achieve

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