"The Great Gatsby" Essay

1332 words - 5 pages

It was a decade of prosperity, artistic innovation, and a heady time for social and political change. The economy flourished with the help of new technologies, and many Americans were earning higher wages. Though the Roaring Twenties seemed to be a time of celebration, but because of the decline in moral values, it was also considered as a time of social decay. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald exemplified the debauched society of the 1920s by utilizing the behaviors depicted by the indifferent Daisy, which included remaining married to her husband for superficial reasons, driving away after she ran someone over with a car, and showing no grief when her so called "lover" was shot because of her. Daisy's selfish and materialistic ways demonstrated that people from the 1920s were willing to do anything to achieve what was desired, regardless of the cost of their behavior. Daisy's behavior described in the novel can still be seen today as people become morally corrupt based on selfish reasons.In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Daisy's willingness to stay in her marriage with Tom Buchanan, despite the fact that she did not love him, portrayed her hunger for money, ease, and material luxury; as for the time period, being materialistic was a key characteristic of the 1920s. When Daisy was still a young woman living in Louisville, Kentucky, she fell in love with Jay Gatsby, a military officer who was about to go off to war. Before Gatsby left, Daisy promised to wait for his return. However, when a wealthy, powerful young man named Tom Buchanan asked her to marry him, Daisy broke her promise and married Tom. "'She never loved you, do you hear?' he cried. 'She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me!'" (Fitzgerald 131). During the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom, the dark secret behind the love triangle was finally revealed. Daisy's main motive for marrying Tom was because of materialistic reasons. She was willing to sacrifice her love for Gatsby to be married into a wealthy family. Daisy fell in love with the reputation and security of the "Old Money" rather than Tom. Despising the "New Money" and its appalled behaviors, as shown through Daisy's reaction towards Gatsby's party, she wanted to remain in a solid and aristocratic family who could promise her a wealthy and luxurious lifestyle. Even when Daisy discovered that Tom was having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, she was determined to behave superficially to disguise her pain at her husband's infidelity rather than divorcing him. Her fear of nonconformity and the need to keep her social image and monetary status in tact prevented her from leaving Tom. Daisy's behavior portrayed the nefarious effects of materialism created by the wealth-driven culture of the 1920s. It was an era where societal values made wealth and material possessions a defining element of one's character....

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