The Great Gatsby Old Money Character Analysis

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Money creates social class. F. Scott Fitzgerald proves this to be true in his novel The Great Gatsby. The most respected characters in the novel are known as “old money”; they inherited their money from their families and older generations, and those from rich wealthy families typically married rich people to become richer. The slightly less respected characters are known as “nouevau riche” because they didn’t inherit their money from their family and instead gained it at some point in their life from the stock market, business, or even illegal business. The least respected characters have no money, and simply because they struggle to make money and get through life. In the book The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald proves that money divides …show more content…
Mr. Jay Gatsby is known as “nouveau riche” because he wasn’t always rich and made his money by bootlegging, which is an illegal business. “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination never really accepted them as parents at all.” (Fitzgerald 98). Since Gatsby isn’t “old money” he lives on the slightly less fashionable West egg because he is not as sophisticated as East eggers like Tom and Daisy. Since Gatsby hasn’t been wealthy his whole life, and he had to work to get his money, he doesn’t have much power compared to Tom. Also, since Gatsby wasn’t always rich, he wasn’t able to marry Daisy because he was poor and she was rich. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me.” (Fitzgerald 130). Even though Daisy loves Gatsby, she didn’t marry him because Tom was wealthier. Tom, therefore, has more power than Gatsby because Tom has the one thing Gatsby wants: money and essentially …show more content…
George and Myrtle Wilson are examples of no money characters because neither of them comes from a wealthy family that they could have inherited their money from, and Mr. Wilson doesn’t have a job that can give him a lot of money like Gatsby does. Mr. Wilson has the lowest social status due to his lack of money. His wife cheats on his wife cheats on him for Tom but Myrtle and Tom can’t get married because Myrtle is too poor. Catherine, Myrtle’s sister tells Nick, “‘it’s really his wife that’s keeping them apart, she’s a catholic, and they don’t believe in divorce.’ Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.” (Fitzgerald 33). Nick knows that Tom lied to Myrtle and said he couldn’t marry her because Daisy doesn’t believe in divorce because he knows that Daisy really isn’t Catholic, so he knows that Tom lied to Myrtle. Tom therefore believes that since he has more money than Myrtle, he has the ability to lie to her and get away with it. Also, George and Myrtle live in the Valley of Ashes, a poor area between the two eggs where New York’s ashes are dumped. George needs to make money so Tom tells him that he will sell George a car so he can fix it up and sell it to make more money. Tom keeps pushing off bringing him the car because there is no car. Tom just says this so he has an excuse to come visit Myrtle. When George complains that he

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