Ethics of Materialism Essay

1596 Words Apr 27th, 2007 7 Pages
Repercussions of Materialism

Materialism and the want of consumer goods, has proved to be a prevalent force in the last century. When superficially thinking about materialism, one would not immediately register that there is a relationship between materialism and ethics; although, under examination, we can see that there is indeed a great association between the two. Are materialism and the obsessive consumer culture we have made for ourselves ethical? People's opinion on this question can be polar opposites. Some people believe that materialism has great benefits for the technological and economic growth, while others argue that materialism strips people of their individuality and creates unethical division between the rich and the
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Scott Fitzgerald. This book is set in the 1920's which was known as the ‘Jazz Age'. This phase followed the shock and chaos of World War 1, where people in American society enjoyed a great rise in wealth as the economy escalated. The prohibition of the sale of alcohol led to a lot of bootlegging and crime was tempting as it was an easy alternative. Fitzgerald commented on the lack of morality in the society, and the great amount of materialism that was happening in the Jazz Age. The main character, Jay Gatsby uses illegal means such as the bootlegging of alcohol to gain wealth, and therefore achieved a higher class in society. Gatsby feels gaining a status is the only way he will get back the love of his life who is married to a man very high in the social hierarchy. Gatsby thinks that only if he comes back with a luxurious house, a grandiose car and throws flamboyant parties, will people associate themselves with him. This example highlights my thesis, because Gatsby probably cheated and lied to several people to gain his wealth which is unethical, and the only reason he did it is to get approval from the materialistic society he is so desperate to be part of. The end of the book is very ironic to what

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