Money And Materialism In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

2100 Words 9 Pages
The 1920’s was a time of celebration after World War I ended with a United States victory. With this victory came a carefree attitude that lasted a decade. Extravagant parties and frivolous activities buzzed across America for the duration of the time period. F. Scott Fitzgerald, renowned author of this time, uses his literary piece The Great Gatsby to depict the lifestyle of the 1920’s. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald critiqued the 1920’s and explained how the lives of individuals had changed during this time. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a specific purpose in writing this novel. He desired to tell about the lives of people during the 1920’s using characters he thought were appropriate. Fitzgerald told about the hardships and depicted the way …show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald utilized The Great Gatsby to critique life in various areas. One of the various areas was the role of money and materialism in society. During the 1920’s, many people came into wealth. Jay Gatsby, as used by Fitzgerald in his novel, is a prime example of a rags to riches story. Once he was out of the military, Gatsby came into great wealth as a bootlegger. This wealth brought Gatsby many luxuries in society, but never the things that truly mattered in life, such as love, friendship, and happiness. This money brought a great divide among society. The method of attaining wealth, and spending of habits of the wealthy show a great divide within the upper social class. “New Money” was seen as carelessly and frivolously spent. People who fell into the new money category were the individuals who came into money after the war, while “Old Money” were the individuals who had wealth throughout generations. Old Money looked down upon the New Money crowd, because of the lifestyle they lived. Jay Gatsby was an example of the new money crowd. He threw lavish parties, and carelessly spent his money. Like many he acquired his money through illegal activity. Although he had any material possession he desired, his money did not buy him happiness friendship, nor the love of Daisy. Gatsby’s rise and fall was through his love for Daisy. Daisy was not interested in his love, and this led to the death of Jay Gatsby. He wanted to protect Daisy, and ultimately her protection led to his demise. Even at Gatsby’s funeral, no one from the lavish parties and wild times came. Only Nick, Jay’s father, and the minister came. This truly displayed the lack of real friendship and love in Jay Gatsby’s life. Through these examples, Fitzgerald is showing the falsity of the lifestyle everyone lusted after, and ultimately the destructiveness of wealth and

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