The Power Of Money In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1833 words - 7 pages

The Power of Money in The Great Gatsby

 
    Ex-President Jimmy Carter knows both the power and the limitations of money. He is also aware that the acquisition of money or material wealth is not a worthwhile goal. This was made clear in his speech to the American people when he stated:  "Our great cities and our mighty buildings will avail us not if we lack spiritual strength to subdue mere objects to the higher purposes of humanity" (Harnsberger 14). In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, the author clearly illustrates that Jay Gatsby does not understand the limitations of the power of money. Gatsby believes that money can recreate the past, buy him happiness, and allow him to climb the social ladder in the prominent East Egg.

 

Jay Gatsby believes he can buy happiness; and this is exhibited through his house, his clothes, and through Daisy. He owns a large portion of finances due to some mysterious source of wealth, and he uses this mystery source to buy his house, his clothes, and Daisy. Gatsby's house, as Fitzgerald describes it, is "a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden" (Fitzgerald 9). This house, as Fitzgerald fabulously enlightens to, is an immaculate symbol of Gatsby's incalculable income. "The house he feels he needs in order to win happiness" (Bewley 24), is an elegant mansion; that of which an excellent symbol of carelessness is displayed and is part of Gatsby's own persona. Every Monday after a party, this house is kept by eight servants. It has its own entrance gate, and is big enough to hold hundreds of people at a time. His careless use for money to impress others is portrayed through his clothes; a gold metallic hat, silver vests and gold jackets. The shirts and clothes that are ordered every spring and fall show his simpleness in expressing his wealth to his beloved Daisy. His "beautiful shirts . . . It makes me sad because I've never seen such beautiful shirts before" (Fitzgerald 98). It seems silly to cry over simple shirts, but "It is not the shirts themselves that overwhelm her but what they symbolize . . ." (Cowley 43). These shirts represent the simple awesome manner of Gatsby's wealth and his ability to try and purchase Daisy's love, this time through the use of extensive clothing. Fitzgerald wisely shows how Gatsby uses his riches to buy Daisy. In the story, we know that "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things . . . and then returned back into their money" (Fitzgerald). By this, we know that Daisy's main (and maybe only) concern is money. Gatsby realizes this, and is powered by this. He is driven to extensive and sometimes illegal actions. He feels he must be rich and careless for his five year love, and when expressing Gatsby's readiness to spend any amount of money for his hopeful wife, a poem must be stated....

Find Another Essay On The Power of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Reinventing Oneself in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

886 words - 4 pages presents, things that the author wants us to walk away with. Most of the time there are morals that make up the story. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby we see many themes present. Those themes present were the idea of starting over, the obsession with romance and the carelessness of the rich people. Works Cited “at the age of seventeen, he legally changed his name” (98). “He talked a lot about the past… he wanted to recover

Biblical Allusions in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1393 words - 6 pages      The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the story of a world lost to superficiality and greed. Falsehood and deception are the currency which fuels the characters in the novel. Dwelling in this fallen world, Fitzgerald has placed a fallen god. Gatsby is bathed in descriptions that identify him as the Son of God. Fitzgerald makes a conscious effort to clothe this character with imagery and actions to make him the patron deity of

Nick Carraway's Epiphany in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

2880 words - 12 pages clearer perception of who he is, what he wants, and, most of all, the ingredients for a meaningful and honest relationship. Works Cited and Consulted Cowley, Malcolm. "The Romance of Money," Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: The Novel, The  Critics, The Background.  Ed. Henry D. Piper.  Charles Schribner's Sons, New York: 1970. Fitzgerald, F. Scott.  The Great Gatsby.  Simon and Schuster Inc., New York: 1991. Hooper, Osman C

Symbols and Symbolism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

620 words - 2 pages Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Symbolism is able to produce immense emotions. Fitzgerald applies symbolism to three of the most significant characters in "The Great Gatsby" to illustrate incisive sentiments. Fitzgerald's description of Tom Buchanan's colossal house signifies Tom and his values. The red and white colors of the Buchanan's mansion represent Tom's personality. Red customarily exemplifies impurity and boldness, while

Character Analysis of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1273 words - 5 pages In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby, is a man who is wealthy and mysterious and who is trying to achieve the American dream. He is obsessed with and in love with his neighbor Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby moves in across from Daisy Buchanan in a huge and fancy mansion. He hopes to lure Daisy in by having constant parties. He never wins her back because he never really had her to begin with. Gatsby’s behavior

The Decay of a Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1597 words - 6 pages money. Nick Carraway is an outsider to his own story: he is an honest man, an observer who bears witness to the calamity. The Great Gatsby is not, in the final analysis, a eulogy for a man named Jay Gatsby; instead, it serves as a eulogy for the idea of America itself.   Works Cited and Consulted: Bewley, Marius. "Scott Fitzgerald's Criticism of America." Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby. Ed. Ernest Lockridge

The Collapse of Dreams in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

831 words - 3 pages     The novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its illusionary goals. In the Great Gatsby the dream is that through wealth and power, one can acquire happiness. To get this happiness, Jay Gatsby must reach into the past and relive an old dream. In order to achieve his dream, he must have wealth and power.   Jay Gatsby is one character that

The Emotional Complexity of Daisy Buchannan in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1112 words - 5 pages Are men defined by other's perceptions? If so, this defeats the innate purpose of humanity which is individuality and free will. A belief that societal definitions are the entire representation of oneself would lead to a completely superficial society in which individualism is obsolete. Jay Gatsby would be no more than "a German spy from the war," and Daisy would be a "Catholic” (33). Everyone has a past and this past certainly shapes

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Expression of Temptation, Deceitfulness, and Jealousy in The Great Gatsby

1757 words - 7 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby was a remarkable book. Fitzgerald Made the characters of the book as real and as personal as possible. Three characteristics stood out in the novel to me. Tom’s Jealousy of Gatsby relationship with his wife, Gatsby’s lies about who he is and his life, and Daisy’s ways to tempt Gatsby to fall in love with her. The novel was inspired by the way he fell in love with his wife Zelda. The novel The Great

Major Themes Captured in Chapter Five of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

703 words - 3 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, set in early 1920’s New York, tells the story of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his lasting affection for Daisy Buchannan. Mr. Gatsby is attempting to lure Daisy’s love as the couple split before Gatsby went to war. However, throughout the novel, the reader encounters unethical characters along with a complex intertwined plot that incorporates themes from early 20th century society. The true essence of the

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Presentation of Class and Responsibility in his The Great Gatsby and Other Works

1934 words - 8 pages will forever bind her to her class. This irresponsibility, it seems, is far from incidental; it afflicts all the wealthy characters to some extent, the question that we must ask ourselves is “Where has it come from”. Contemporary philosophers and thinkers Josiah Royce and Walter Lippmann, who are considered by Berman (The Great Gatsby and the twenties - The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald 2006) to have been particularly influential of

Similar Essays

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby The Power Of Money

678 words - 3 pages , in search of the power that enables them to live. But, money can play many parts in the drama of life. It can represent or give the illusion of wealth, prestige, nobility, and power. Those that seek to harness its powers must also strive to conquer its ability to destroy and corrupt. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the repeated image of money, no matter in what form or through whom it is portrayed, is used to such an extent that it

The Religion Of Money In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

866 words - 3 pages . Often these subjects, such as money, wealth, or physical beauty and ability, give their owners an overbearing sense of power and ability in all of that they do. Some people become so obsessed with their materialistic power that it becomes their religion and leads them in everything that they do. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the character of Tom Buchanan is introduced and portrayed as someone who has allowed his physical abilities

Money, Power, Class In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

658 words - 3 pages Money, power, and social classes all played a huge role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Throughout the book Fitzgerald develops his characters based on their settings and each role’s purpose is about money and wealth status. Each character also has their own power over one another because of their money and social ranking. For example Daisy Buchannan, who is known for being careless and free, has a lot of power over other characters

Double Vision In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

705 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby:  Double Vision                 F. Scott Fitzgerald once stated that the test of a first rate intelligence was the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. This intelligence he describes is characterized by the principle of “double vision.” An understanding of this is