Blinded by the self-destructive American dream of “Marie-Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons” and “toilet sets of pure dull gold” most murder their morals and harm others in the process (Fitzgerald 5.91). Whether rich or poor two things can be assured: the poor want to be rich and the rich do not want to be poor. The result is a “rotten crowd” that has not true value, for it demoralizes itself to prosper economically, not realizing that the crisp dollar bills will be worthless in its grave (Fitzgerald 8.154).
In the midst of economic depression, the thirst for wealth cannot be quenched; the need for copper coins is as persistent as snow in a Chicago winter. Desperate, hungry, and perhaps even angry, formers farmers during the 1930s, who have lost everything to the demonic dust and claws of the capitalist bank, take the easy road and become “part of the monster” that tore them apart from their homes, snatched every last bit of self-sustenance they clung to, and most importantly, destroyed the unity of their families (Steinbeck 5.48). They, without thinking twice, throw their ethics into the roaring flames, becoming nothing but puppets that crush others’ dreams, independence, and families.
The victims evolve into the aggressors, destroying the values they once treasured—all for “three dollars ...
... middle of paper ...
...set limits. In a time like this, we should focus on uniting our society and stabilizing its morals, but instead we allow greed to consume our lives.
One thing Steinbeck and Fitzgerald can agree on it that money has a detrimental effect on humanity. We, as erroneous humans, will do anything to become part of the wealthy mass of our capitalist economy, and those already in it will do anything not to leave it. We place a higher value on money than on morality, simply because it is physical. We forget that, in the end, money will be worth nothing, but our characters—what we believe in, what we value, and what we act according to—will be engraved in the minds of all of those who knew us, or by chance—as we with Gatsby—hear of us.
Fitzgerald, F. S. 1925. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes Of Wrath. Penguin USA, 1939. print.
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