The Great Gatsby Film Essay

The Great Gatsby Film Essay

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Class distinctions often determine actions. People who believe themselves as better than others will strive to garner, or even just associate themselves with, wealth in order to feel omnipotent. Through the classic novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, film Washington Square, based off the novel by Henry James and cover of the October 12th, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, the authors show that money will result in perversion. Because some people have delusions of superiority, they are more likely to be corrupted by money as its power appeals to them. It is only those who are humble and do not desire the power money bestows who can remain uncorrupted.
Tom Buchanan, Doctor Sloper, and the woman from the cartoon all boast their “superiority” over others. Tom, a man of “old money” (family wealth), owns a home that indicates his status to all who pass by. Described as a “Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay” (11), the home is located in East Egg, the more “fashionable” place where “White Palaces... glittered along the water” (10). Nick even mentions that Tom is one of the few men of his generation who was rich enough to own “a string of polo ponies” (10). Tom, along with being ostentatious, uses force to assert his power over those who are not wealthy like him. This is foreshadowed from the beginning of the novel when he asks Nick if he read The Rise of the Coloured Empires. The title alone indicates that it is a novel that only a power-hungry and egotistical man would read. Even his wife refers to his as a “brute of a man” (16). However the reader does not get a true feel for his barbarity until the great fight in his apartment. The small New York City loft located on 158th street serves as a meeting place for Tom and...


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...iman goes to formals with the family, dresses in extravagant dresses, and interferes with Catherine’s life. When Catherine is away, Mrs. Penniman tries to transform Mr. Townsend into her perfect man, rather than Catherine’s. As a result, she corrupts him with money by helping him find a high-paid job and letting him live the high life while the Slopers are in Europe. When Catherine confronts her, she replies, “I thought of him as my own… my own son” (1:29:40).


Work Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2013. Print.

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