Greed and Wealth in the Characters of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

894 WordsJun 25, 20184 Pages
In today’s society, people are judged by their values or are frightened to take sacrifices to better benefit their lifestyle. Characters like Gatsby, Tom, Daisy and Myrtle are shown as evidence of greed and how wealth surrounds their values. Fitzgerald uses social commentary to offer a glance of an American life in the 1920s. He carefully sets up his novel into distinct groups, but in the end, each group has its own problems to contend with, leaving powerful ideas for readers to adapt(add morals characters inhabit). By creating distinct social classes, old money, new money, and no money, Fitzgerald sends strong messages about the elitism running throughout every perspective of society. F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays characters like Nick,…show more content…
The "new money" people cannot be like them, and in many ways that works in their favor — those in society's highest levels are not nice people at all. They are judgmental and shallow, failing to look at the essence of the people around them (and themselves, too). Instead, they live their lives in such a way as to preserve their sense of superiority. The people with newly acquired wealth, like Gatsby’s party people, aren't necessarily much better. They attend his parties, drink his liquor, and eat his food, never once taking the time to even meet their host (they don’t even bother to wait for an invitation, they just show up). When Gatsby dies, all the people who frequented his house every week mysteriously became busy elsewhere, abandoning Gatsby when he could no longer do anything for them. One would like to think the newly wealthy would be more sensitive to the world around them. As Fitzgerald shows, however, their concerns are largely living for the moment. Just as he did with people of money, Fitzgerald uses the people with no money to convey a strong message. Nick, although he comes from a family with a bit of wealth, doesn't have nearly the capital of Gatsby or Tom. In the end, though, he shows himself to be an honorable and principled man, which is more than Tom behavior. Myrtle, though, is another story. She comes from the middle class at best. She is
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