The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Decent Essays

Money and Reputation During the 1920’s, most Americans cared about their wealth and social standing. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays the characters striving for happiness, love, and wealth, in which none of the characters can have all of the options in the life they have. He does this to explain his own struggle with his American dream by never having a lot of money, never being a very successful writer, and losing his golden girl. Fitzgerald portrays his pessimistic view on the struggle of fulfilling the American dream by portraying different types of people trying to achieve their own dreams with the obstacles of social status, and the influence of reputation getting in the way of their individual dreams.
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Myrtle understands that if she stays with George she won 't ever get away from the working class. She’s escaping her poor reality, and she desperately needs Tom for his money and power but not for his company or happiness. Myrtle doesn’t have money or come from money, but by surrounding herself with Tom, a man who comes from old money, this allows her to have a more privileged life that her husband can’t provide for her. In addition, Nick observes how Gatsby made up an imaginary life which he lived through, “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end”(98). Nick sees how Gatsby built up his whole life over a decision he made as a young man. Being the determined man Gatsby is, he stuck with his ideal life. Gatsby made this perfect life to escape his reality and impress Daisy as well as other people around him. Since Gatsby went from rags to riches, and had an amazing social life, he isn’t respected like the Buchanans. He isn’t from old money or a family of money. Without the title of old money, Gatsby is unable to live this dream of his. He may have money, he just doesn’t have the titlement to impress and get his golden girl for himself. While both characters originate from lower classes, both Gatsby and Myrtle try to move up their social statuses doing anything it take to impress people with money,

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