Money And Corruption In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

2579 words - 10 pages

Money and Corruption in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
During the time in our country's history called the roaring twenties, society had a new obsession, money. Just shortly after the great depression, people's focus now fell on wealth and success in the economic realm. Many Americans would stop at nothing to become rich and money was the new factor in separation of classes within society. Wealth was a direct reflection of how successful a person really was and now became what many people strived to be, to be rich. Wealth became the new stable in the "American dream" that people yearned and chased after all their lives. In the novel entitled the great Gatsby, the ideals of the so called American dream became skewed, as a result of the greediness and desires of the main characters to become rich and wealthy. These character placed throughout the novel emphasize the true value money has on a persons place in society making wealth a state of mind.
The heart of the whole notion of wealth lies in the setting of the novel, the east and west eggs of New York City. The west egg was a clustering of the "Nouveau riche" or the newly acquired rich, and the east egg was where the people who inherited their riches resided. The eggs divided the people rich in two with the poor being limited to the middle, the "valley of ashes". Even the way the narrator, Nick Carraway, describes the two communities' gives off a feeling of superiority. Nick describes the east as " the less fashionable of the two, through this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them" (Fitzgerald, pg. 9) When discussing the other he states" Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East egg glittered along the water…" (Fitzgerald, pg. 10)
This divide would not only be apparently in appearance of the two communities and their geographical locations but the divide was also present in the actions and attitudes the character possessed. The East eggers such as Tom and Daisy looked at the West eggers like Gatsby as if there were some kind of flaw in the system that just by luck they were considered wealthy. The west eggers on the other hand would do anything to be looked at as equal as their foes. The whole idea that inherited money meant more then earned money was more important then if you even had money at all. Tom, when realizing the lust that Gatsby and daisy were hiding for each other, was angrier at the fact that she would associate let along long to be with someone from the "west egg". This whole notion of the expectations that the East eggers had for the wealthy and rich society of New York were constantly strived toward by the west eggers driving some, such as Gatsby mad with greed and...

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