The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath Essay

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Money— sweeter than honey but oh so destructive. It facilitates a man’s life, while a lack of it imprisons him in the streets of penury. It raises his social status, while an absence of it leaves him unnoticed. It gives him an aura of superiority and importance among others, while a deficiency of it makes him worthless in society’s eyes. Considering these two roads, most do not take more than a second to decide to chase riches.
Blinded by the self-destructive American dream of “Marie-Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons” and “toilet sets of pure dull gold” most murder their morals and harm others in the process (Fitzgerald 5.91). Whether rich or poor two things can be assured: the poor want to be rich and the rich do not want
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Stubborn and passionate about becoming part of the prosperous capitalist economy (which is the tone Steinbeck carries out throughout The Grapes of Wrath), they forget about humility, honesty, and selflessness. The tone, along with the repetition of the three dollars a day the aggressors earn, reflects their cold-hearted determination to risk all that ever mattered to them in order to savor the wealth. They become part of the meaningless crowd that, blinded by dollar signs, believes that affluence leads to happiness, making money their number one priority.
Similarly, in the 1920s flourishing American economy of flashy cars and ostentatious mansions and extravagant parties and overpriced attire, there are those who believe money is the key to glee. Gatsby, born into a family of “unsuccessful farm people” trades in his “torn green jersey” for a “shirt of sheer linen” and dedicates his life to amassing the fortune he believes will help him accomplish his dream (Fitzgerald 5.92 & 6.98). Deceit becomes his best friend as corruption murders his once innocent dream and meretricious promises replace his morals. He, to rise to the top and near his dream, cheats the poor, the people that are so much like his own family. However, Gatsby, unlike the former farmers in The Grapes of Wrath, does not only care about the money; he, unlike them, has a purpose that extends beyond accumulating wealth.
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