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The Characters Of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

2085 words - 8 pages

The Characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

     In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main characters Tom and Gatsby are both similar and different in their attitudes and their status. Both Tom and Gatsby have attained great wealth and live in very lavish conditions. They differ greatly, on the other hand, in the way that they acquired this wealth, and the way in which they treat other people. Even though both characters have great amounts of wealth, they are almost complete opposites due the way in which they acquired their wealth.

Tom and Gatsby are very similar in their wealth and lavishness. Gatsby spends his money on any whim, regardless of what it may cost. His parties, for example, cost him huge amounts and are held almost every weekend. Trucks must bring in the food, and the servants work all day to prepare and organize the grounds. The beverages are also brought in by the truckload, and all of the attendees drink heavily. Gatsby then hires a complete string orchestra, a jazz band, an opera singer, and various other entertainers. Most importantly, Gatsby does all of this just to get Daisy's attention, and he has enough wealth to keep doing it every day for as long as it takes.

      Gatsby's costly personal possessions also show his ease of spending money. He buys a hydroplane just to take it out several times, not on a long journey, but for a short flight across the sound. Gatsby's car, "was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns."(68), clearly a very lavish and expensive automobile. Lastly, Gatsby's large house, which lights up the entire street, is also very extravagant and costly, and is completely unnecessary for one person to live in. Gatsby does not even use the pool until summer ends.

Tom also exhibits Gatsby's lavish qualities. He is also very quick to spend his money on a whim. For example, he and Daisy move as soon as they are uncomfortable. They moved from Chicago to the New York area, simple because rumors were to spread about Tom's reckless behavior. Furthermore, this move does not seem like a big deal to Tom or Daisy, and she even asks to move back when she hears that people miss her. This ability to move whenever they have a change of heart is due to Tom's wealth. When Tom does move, he basically takes everything and transplants it, even his horses are moved in special cars, and Nick, who is of the upper middle class, cannot even understand how someone could have that much money. The fact that Tom and Daisy never really do much is also an example of the great wealth that Tom has acquired so that they both can retire in their early thirties.

      Further exemplifying Tom's great wealth is the fact that he has the money to support Daisy and Myrtle, without...

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