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Money in The Great Gatsby

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    Money in The Great Gatsby

    Gatsby has it all, the money, lavish parties, fame and many connections. But money can not buy love, class and happiness. Class is what separates the old money East Egg and the Nouveau riche west egg that is described as the “less fashionable” (Fitz-Gerald, 7) and although Gatsby has an equivalent amount of money as the Buchanans’ he is still known as the “newly rich” of Long island and couldn’t buy class that would impress the rather demanding Daisy Buchanan . Money is a major theme in the novel The Great Gatsby, but a custom yellow Rolls Royce will not bring Gatsby happiness but will leave him death trails behind. Money might buy all the materialistic wants in this world but all Gatsby wanted was Daisy’s love and all the parties were for her. Money is what made Gatsby’s dream of being with Daisy revive, and die again, forever.

    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (1.1-3) It’s a lot easier to be morally upright when you’re not pinching and scraping to make a living… which makes the immorality of the wealthy even more unforgivable. Every advantage in the world, and they can’t even be nice people? Nick may forgive them, but we’re not sure we do. Chapter 1

    Quote 2
    Why they came East I don’t know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. (1. 17) Chapter 1

    Quote 3
    His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it,
    even toward people he liked—and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts. (1.20) Wealth makes Tom “paternal,” as though it gives him the right to tell the entire world how to behave. But remember—he didn’t earn the wealth. He’s literally done nothing to deserve it. So why does he get to be mean-dad to everyone?

    “I like to come,” Lucille said. “I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address – inside of a week I got a package from Croirier’s with a new evening gown in it.” “Did you keep it?” asked Jordan.

    “Sure I did. I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in the bust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars.” (3.23-25) Lucille seems more impressed with the price of the gown than the gown itself. And notice how she says “I never care what I do”: just one more example of the careless wealthy. Why would you care, when you know that your host will just replace whatever you break? (Unless, of course, it’s your heart.)

    The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people – with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe. (4.113) Meyer Wolfsheim fixed the World Series, an enormous crime that Nick thinks is like “a burglar blowing a safe.” But the burglar gets caught; Wolfsheim uses his wealth and underworld connections to stay squeaky clean. Apparently you don’t have to be high class to benefit from your wealth.

    “Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
    That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it… high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl […]. (7.99)

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