What Is Materialism In The Great Gatsby

1492 Words 6 Pages
The 1920’s is when the American Dream dies. As the United States progresses, fewer people believe that hard work and determination are the only qualities necessary to be successful. During this time period, it is clear that there is no longer an equal chance of being successful. F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as an author from the Lost Generation; due to the effects of war, he never has a chance to live a proper American life. The American Dream does not apply to him, he never gets to experience it; to him the American Dream is dead. His novel, The Great Gatsby, attests to the death of the American Dream by presenting materialism as the new American Dream. Daisy Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson and Jordan Baker are the three main women in the novel …show more content…
Daisy and Tom barely love each other, their relationship is mainly superficial. Both Daisy and Tom understand the reality of their relationship being fake. However, Tom and Daisy complement each other with respect to social class; both of them come from a line of old money, live in East Egg, and are respectable. In the eyes of the public, they are the ideal couple, and to them, that is all that matters. When Daisy meets Gatsby again, complications arise. Daisy has to choose either old money and status or new money and love. Daisy leaves Gatsby the first time because Gatsby is not equal to her in terms of status, he is poor and from West Egg. Despite Daisy’s refusal, Gatsby is still in love with Daisy and vice versa. Daisy’s second encounter causes the reawakening of Daisy’s love for Gatsby, yet she quickly leaves Gatsby, noticing that money changes Gatsby. Gatsby, the docile man that Daisy loves, is no longer Gatsby; he is bitter, aggressive and harsh. However, for a long time, Daisy questions whether leaving Gatsby is a good move or not. There is much regret pertaining to their relationship: “They’re such beautiful shirts…It makes me sad because I have never seen such – such beautiful shirts before” (Fitzgerald 92). It is …show more content…
The child is part of the reason why Tom is not worried about Daisy leaving him for love. In a similar manner, Myrtle exclaims that “[she] married [Wilson] because he was a gentleman… but he wasn’t fit to lick [her] shoe” (Fitzgerald 34). Myrtle’s disdain for Wilson sprouts from one of Wilson’s actions. At the wedding ceremony of Myrtle and Wilson, Wilson borrows a suit from someone and does not tell Myrtle. When Myrtle finds out this information, she is furious because her already less than perfect name is tainted even more. She craves attention from socialites; she wants to feel wealthy. Myrtle’s desires and Daisy’s desire are one: status and love. This craving that Myrtle builds up leads to her affair with Tom. Tom provides Myrtle with the illusion that she has status, wealth and love. Yet, in Tom’s eyes, the relationship between him and Myrtle is purely physical. Jordan is materialistic as well but in a different manner. Jordan loves the extravagant parties that Gatsby throws; she finds that large parties are among the most intimate parties that a person can

Related Documents