This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Greed In The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages

The Modernist movement took place in a time of happiness, a time of sadness, a time of objects, a time of saving, a time of prosperity, a time of poverty and in a time of greed. Two novels, written by Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, portray this underlying greed and envy better than most novels of that period. These novels, The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, show that despite the difference between the 1920s and the 1930s, greed remained a part of human life, whether superficially or necessarily, and that many people used their greed to damage themselves and others.
In both of these novels, greed as a whole is negative, corrosive, abrasive, destructive, and apocalyptic. As an example, in Gatsby the namesake, Gatsby’s, desire for Daisy forces him to become a jester to the rich through many parties, who inevitably fabricate stories about him, destroying his credibility, in order to impress Daisy. And later, after Daisy and Gatsby meet one another again, attempts to force Daisy to leave her husband, only for death to strike three times in retaliation of his lustful greed. Fitzgerald portrayed this well with a green light: “Now it was again a green light on a dock. His number of enchanted objects decreased by one.” (The University of Adelaide, 2011). The aforementioned significance of the light is that the light portrays his greed and lust for Daisy and her love. The object of his greed shifts from the green light to Daisy, his other “enchanted object.” This phenomenon also occurs with Tom, who, in his greed for more life than he has already, carries out open relationships and alienates Daisy. In fact, almost every character in Gatsby portrays a form of greed, such as dishonesty in Jordan’s case so that she can possess more money, an insatiable desire for attention in Daisy’s case, and a desire to be rich in the case of Myrtle, and each of these characters suffer for it: Jordan loses her best friends, Daisy accidentally kills someone, losing her innocence forever, and Myrtle ends up torn in pieces from the front bumper of a green car, the car of greed. In Grapes, also, greed brings a terrible cost to all those involved. For example, the Californians, to protect themselves, greedily cover their jobs and attempt to force the migrants to leave, saying, “You’re in California, an’ we don’t want you...Okies settlin’ down.” (Steinbeck, 2006). The cost they pay is a loss of humanity, a loss of conscience, as no longer will the Californians help those in need, allowing for migrants and entire families to die and for them to sadly strike out against those who speak out. Yet the Joad family, at times, portrays their own greed. They take a job as a strikebreaker during a strike lead by one of the family’s best friends, John Casy, only to have Casy die and Tom nearly arrested again for murder. Also, the family shows greed by constantly moving in search of new jobs. As the family leaves the government camp, Tom, Pa and Al all have jobs, yet...

Find Another Essay On Greed In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

974 words - 4 pages makes the weakest link plummet. The true American Dream can be chased, but exists if and only if the one trying for it can accept failure and move on. This continually presents itself in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Taking place in the height of the Great Depression, Grapes depicts the Joads, a family with no wealth that loses everything due to foreclosure and repossession. This family

Masculinity portrayed in the Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Glass Menagerie

713 words - 3 pages Masculinity is a well known stereotype that often defines men as being tough, strong, and having no emotions. In most cases, their work tends to identify their level of masculinity. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the male characters create their identities through their abilities to provide for their families. In these three texts, the males

Mother Roles in the Novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1240 words - 5 pages , their roles as the mother in the novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath greatly differ in their responsibility in their family, their treatment of their children, and their family morals, with Ma outshining Daisy as a true mother. While Daisy’s responsibility in her family is very small and separated, Ma’s responsibilities are very vital to her family. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy didn’t have any real responsibilities. Her basic role in

Love between Social Classes in The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby

1670 words - 7 pages Fitzgerald put forth in their novels, The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby, are not exceptions. Specifically, the theme of love across social classes shines through both novels, exhibited in the ineffable drive to lend oneself to another person of a lower class deserving of help. The ineffable love that shines through both novels does not just span the separation of social class, but it does so silently, with no trace of its beginning except

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

1196 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath are superb models of individual and settings’ contrasting elements. Each novel is respectively set in different decades and both serve as foils of another. In regards to the “American Dream,’’ Great Gatsby and Grapes of Wrath are examples of two separate, yet similar paths of this vision; Gatsby is the respective “Promised land” and contrastingly, Grapes is “hell on

Greed Overpowers All in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1103 words - 5 pages People wonder how a human would change when his/her surroundings change. Will they change for the better or worse? Will they still be willing to go out of their way to help those how are around them? John Steinbeck shows us in The Grapes of Wrath how a person can change when they have nothing. He shows us how when people are desperate, they would do anything to further themselves and only themselves. Most of all, he shows us how greed overpowers

Greed and Wealth in the Characters of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1087 words - 4 pages In today’s society, people are judged by their values or are frightened to take sacrifices to better benefit their lifestyle. Characters like Gatsby, Tom, Daisy and Myrtle are shown as evidence of greed and how wealth surrounds their values. Fitzgerald uses social commentary to offer a glance of an American life in the 1920s. He carefully sets up his novel into distinct groups, but in the end, each group has its own problems to contend with

The Grapes Of Wrath: Connections To The Great Depression

1573 words - 6 pages The Grapes of Wrath: Connections to the Great Depression The decaying state of the American economy and the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s brought about the necessity for the United States to reconsider its attitudes and examine the long term effects of its policies concerning wide-scale socioeconomic problems that were constantly growing bigger. The Great Depression led to the creation of many new and innovative government

The Great Depression in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1767 words - 8 pages The Grapes of Wrath is a realist novel that was written by John Steinbeck in the year 1939. The book has gained critical acclamation around the world to result in awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for fiction and culminated by winning the Nobel Prize in the year 1962. The book was set by the author during the Great Depression in the United States, which has been used to highlight the challenges and experiences of American

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

American Dream, "The Great Gatsby", "American Beauty" (film) - freedom & power, greed, isolation & failure

1186 words - 5 pages The American Dream is an abstract ideal that human beings live by. The appeal of this ideal is that chasing the dream leads to freedom and power for the individual. However, through the study of the texts The Great Gatsby by Francis S. Fitzgerald and American Beauty directed by Sam Mendes, we have learnt these rewards do not come without unrespectable consequences such as greed, isolation and failure.Greed, isolation and failure can be grouped

Similar Essays

The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages wealth, leaving the most valuable wealth, morality, behind. But even more sinister are those who have everything but want more. The worthless crowd of millionaires, the owners of The Bank in The Grapes of Wrath and Tom, Daisy, and Jordan in The Great Gatsby, cheats the common man for its own benefit. Its mind, overflowing with materialistic ideas, does not stop to think about others when there is money involved. Its thirst for riches is a beast; it

The American Dream As Shown In The Novels The Grapes Of Wrath And The Great Gatsby

572 words - 2 pages America: a land of endless wealth, and the dream; a dream of endless opportunity, is not depicted as such in the books The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby. The Dream is instead portrayed as hypocritical in the assumption that spiritual satisfaction is always accompanied material gain.In The Great Gatsby America is shown as a land of dreams that is undeniably corrupted by materialism to such a degree that even the image of god (the blue eyes

The Role Of Female Characters In American Literature: The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1166 words - 5 pages For readers who observe literature through a feminist lens, they will notice the depiction of female characters, and this makes a large statement on the author’s perception of feminism. Through portraying these women as specific female archetypes, the author creates sense of what roles women play in both their families and in society. In books such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the roles

Failures Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1290 words - 5 pages An effortless quote, just a few words put together in a sentence, can often perfectly explain the backbone of some stories. Oscar Wilde's simple, seven worded sentence, "Ambition is the last refuge of failure" perfectly articulates basic ideas of both The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (“Oscar wilde quotes”, 2010). The characters in both books are searching for the figurative Eden of the time, the