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Money, A Privilege Or A Curse? : Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

2077 words - 8 pages

Money, a Privilege or a Curse? : Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, money plays a large role in the character’s lives. Money is used to change their appearances throughout the novel. All the characters use their money in a different way. Gatsby attempts to use his money to win back his one true love, Daisy. Myrtle Wilson uses money she does not have to change her appearance towards others. But others are used to having wealth, and they are experienced in the ways of being rich. These people include Tom and Daisy Buchanan. The narrator, Nick Caraway, moves east searching for wealth, but never achieves that goal. The entire novel is filled with wealth and riches, but is money to be seen as a privilege or a curse? Characters in The Great Gatsby try to recreate themselves using money. Many characters in The Great Gatsby have money, and they all use it in different ways. Gatsby’s main goal is to win back Daisy Buchanan. He attempts this by getting wealthy so that she will fall for him again, for the sole purpose that he is rich. Myrtle Wilson tries to recreate herself by buying items to make her look wealthy. Daisy’s whole life has been a pampered one. She cannot live a life that is not filled with riches. Tom Buchanan was not born rich, but he is very used to being wealthy as well as his wife, Daisy. But Nick is not rich. He travels to the east looking for wealth, but in the end he sees that money only brings deception and destruction. Jay Gatsby is not accustomed to being a rich man because he has only been one for a very small period of time; therefore he can be seen as newly rich. Kirk Curnutt quotes Scott Donaldson about Gatsby, “His clothes, his car, his house, he parties, all brand him as newly rich” (Curnutt quoting Scott Donaldson). Gatsby is not used to having the money he had just recently run into in his still-young life. He uses his money to buy unnecessary and extravagant things. Plus, he also throws very expensive parties far too often. He tries to win friends and influence acquaintances with his money which is a common characteristic of the newly rich. This is evidence that he is newly rich because one of the main reasons he acts like this is because he is not accustomed to having such a large amount of money. This is not who Gatsby really is. This is a person who has been created out of money and the freedom to do whatever he wants with it. To accomplish his one main goal, Gatsby would do anything to make money, so he did it illegally. Gatsby is a very rich man, but he did not earn his money the way that most of America did. “[Gatsby] differs from the other newly rich members of society in that he did not earn his money in an honorable way.” Gatsby made his money out of illegal bonds and bootlegging. Bootlegging is when one illegally sells alcohol under-the-counter, at a time where alcohol is banned. His main goal left in...

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