The Religion of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby -

855 Words 4 Pages
The Religion of Money in The Great Gatsby

Near the beginning of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, Mr. Undershaft exclaims in retort of another's question, "well, I am a millionaire, and that is my religion" (Shaw 103). Many people look toward the heavens in search of the power to enable them to live in the world. Others, like Shaw's Mr. Undershaft, look toward more earthly subjects to obtain their power and symbolize their status. 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
…show more content…
Having a family that was "enormously wealthy", allowed Tom to move past the loss of football and obtain power by living a life "in a fashion that rather took your breath away" (Fitzgerald 10).

On Nick's first visit to the Buchanan estate, which is located on the prestigious East Egg, he is overcome by the grandeur and lavish display of Tom's seemingly unending wealth. The Buchanan estate sits on the bay and is comprised of a quarter mile of "lawns... sundials and brick walks and burning gardens" (Fitzgerald 11). But, it is more than solely the outward manifestation of his wealth that allows Tom to be characterized by it. The display of his sense of power is even greater through his actions. Several times during Nick's visit to Tom's home, Tom physically guides Nick as if Nick was a robot that was to be controlled, or, perhaps more accurately, one of the king's subjects in his royal domain. This sense of royalty is demonstrated when standing on the porch of his estate, Tom "turned [Nick] around again, politely and abruptly" (Fitzgerald 12) and later, when Nick comments that "wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square" (Fitzgerald 16). Further proof of Tom's power gained through actions and permitted by wealth continue to be evident in the second chapter of the novel when Tom exhibits his power over his mistress, Myrtle by telling her both what to
Open Document