A Lifestyle Of Greed: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1450 words - 6 pages

The epigraph of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, written by Thomas Parke D’Invilliers, gives an insight to the overarching idea of using wealth to attain the interest of a lover in the book and the events that may take place and reads:
Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”

can be interpreted to signify the idea that the only way to win the attention of a girl is to use material deception. In other words, one must make oneself extravagant and flamboyant. This extravagance and flamboyance draws the visual attention of all because the gold hat would reflect the sunlight, creating a halo around the head and increasing the interest of the man dressed captivatingly. Further than that, the women would psychologically be attracted to the idea of financial security and the idea of the man being able to spoil her with luxurious material comforts. However, this poem, like all poems, can be interpreted in many ways, all of which significant and dependent on the reader. This epigraph represents the absurdity of the situation, the bouncing man and bouncing woman, foreshadowing an upcoming series of events and demonstrating the disastrous ending which could possibly be the conclusion. Additionally, the poem demonstrates and insinuates a presence of dishonest appearance and the presence of a façade worn by a character within the novel. The poem, symbolizes the importance of material objects in the pursuit of winning the heart and attention of a girl. In addition, the poem subtly uncovers the disorder and chaos of a man parading his wealth to achieve his desired lover, as well as the misrepresentation and false personas of characters to be encountered as the reader continues the book.
The scheme of using any means, particularly wealth and material objects, to obtain the attention of a woman in this poem is the exact tactic Gatsby adopts to attain the interest of Daisy. As revealed in the book, Gatsby hosts extravagant parties as evidenced by the number of guests, the lights, the food and the entertainment. For example, Nick discloses, every week “the juice from two hundred oranges” is extracted for his parties (Fitzgerald 39). The reason Gatsby throws these huge, flashy parties is all part of his attempt to catch Daisy’s attention. Gatsby hopes Daisy will either catch a glimpse of the mansion across the bay standing confidently and shining bright with lights among the small houses adjacent or through word of mouth from the gossiping attendees. Gatsby additionally represents his wealth and financial stability. He was unable to attract her with in the past by wearing a “white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie” when he first meets with Daisy after five ears of separation (Fitzgerald 84). By wearing luxurious clothes, he is conveying a message, without speaking, which entails that he is no longer the...

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