The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

1041 Words 5 Pages
Fitzgerald expresses his criticism of the materialism of the Jazz Age through his juxtaposition of the idealistic Gatsby with the materialistic foil characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom and Daisy are old money. They have no need, unlike Gatsby, to resort to criminal dealings because they have “possessed and enjoyed from a very young age” (O’Keefe. 20 November 2016). In that manner, the Buchanans are foils to Gatsby: they are old money to Gatsby’s nouveau riche, a contrast emphasized by the symbolic geography of East Egg and West Egg. Ultimately, however, Tom and Daisy prove their carelessness and heartlessness in their betrayal of Gatsby after Myrtle Wilson’s death: They “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness [...] and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald 79). The Buchanans embody what Anastas viewed as corrupt American ideals, with their “radically self-centered worldview” (Anastas) that allows them to so casually leave Gatsby to take the blame for their actions. The Buchanans also become foils to Gatsby in another manner. Although Nick initially dislikes Gatsby, by the conclusion of the narrative, Nick tells Gatsby “‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together’” (154), eventually coming to admire Gatsby, who “[turns] out all right at the end” (2). The opposite occurs with the Buchanans, who are described as“the foul dust that floated in the wake of [Gatsby’s] dreams” (2),…

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