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Theme Of Greed In The Great Gatsby

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Money changes people in the Great Gatsby; it shapes their ethics, hopes, and dreams. American culture was changing at during the time the book was written, extravagant shows of fortune become more common. Nick's circle in New York serves as a microcosm for the country during the 1920’s. There was a massive cultural shift where immense fortune was displayed more openly. Materialism and greed became more acceptable during this time then they were before. Although people claim noble virtues guide their actions, in reality, their motivations are selfish. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the characters appear to be guided by love, but their real motivation is greed.
Gatsby wants Daisy because of the status she represents not because
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Myrtle wanted more than George could give her, so she started an affair with a richer man. She stays with Tom not because of what he can offer her. The whole time Nick is with Myrtle she only discusses things she wants to buy. the first thing she says when they get to New York is “I want to get one of those dogs,” she said earnestly. “I want to get one for the apartment. They’re nice to have—a dog”. The first thing she says is she wants Tom to buy her something. all she cares about is material goods, shows of wealth. She sold her reputation and marriage for some spending money. She got so accustomed to a life of luxury she lost her life trying to keep it. When she thought Tom was driving Gatsby's car, “she rushed out into the dusk, waving her hands and shouting […] She ran out to speak to him, and he wouldn’t stop”. She jumped in front of a moving car to save an illusion of the life she desired. In the great Gatsby, greed is a one-way trip, those who fall into it can’t bring themselves to let it go. Myrtle runs out to the car because she would rather die than not have the life she craves. If it were a matter of love, she would have left George already, but she wants security. Myrtle longs for a life she can't have; that’s why she cheats on her George with Tom. like Gatsby, Myrtle is in love with the status Tom gives her, not Tom…show more content…
Daisy didn’t love Tom before they got married. She almost backed out a few days before the wedding pointing to a note from Gatsby as her reason. Tom knew he had to win over Daisy so “The day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” And the next day she married Tom. Tom bought a wife for three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. She sold herself to a man she didn’t love for the money. When Daisy sees the large house and out-of-this-world wealth that Gatsby has she become attracted to him. She falls in love with Gatsby's money. When Tom learns of the affair, he tries to put Gatsby's fortune in question. Tom tells Daisy that Gatsby, “bought up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong.” This information changed how Daisy saw Gatsby. These rumors tainted his fortune; it lost its appeal. Daisy no longer wanted to leave Tom, “Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, whatever courage she had had, were gone.” When Daisy questions the validity of Gatsby's fortune, she is no longer attracted to him. Nick even describes Daisy as “frightened” upon hearing this; she almost lost the luxuries life she has. Choosing Gatsby would now mean taking a step down. In the realm
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