He feels entitled and superior because of his wealth. Another example of Toms selfish behavior is when Tom tells Gatsby there is no way Daisy will leave him, “certainly not for a common swindler who would have to steal the ring he put on her finger” (280). This is just another example of how Tom is so self-centered, believing money is most important because it can buy you love. He sees his own marriage as an economic exchange and has no care to what Daisy thinks. Due to Tom’s abundant amount of wealth, he has become very selfish and narcissistic Each character in the Great Gatsby embodies their own consequence of attaining great wealth.
Jacobo Delara Mr. Horner English II CP September 15 2014 The Great Gatsby The classic American Novel Nick Carraway is man from a wealthy family in Minnesota moving to west egg to learn about the Bond business. Then he gets involved with Mr. Gatsby which then sparks the beginning of the novel. Gatsby then gets involved with the nightmare of the American Dream. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s perfectly as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. This novel shows the lack of social skills in newly made millionaires such as Gatsby that cannot even pick up on an invitation to lunch.
Tom is one of the richest men in the country and has a much higher social status than Gatsby. Gatsby believes that if he can make enough money Daisy will be able to be with him. He is willing to do anything to win Daisy back so “He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter.”(Fitzgerald 00). This shows that he is willing to do anything for Daisy even if it is illegal. That is part of the reason he is responsible for his own death because he has no limits to what he will do for her.
Nick Carroway says of Tom “His family were enormously wealthy; even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach, but now he'd left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance, he'd brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest. It was hard to realize that a man in my own generation was wealthy enough to do that.” Everything about this shows how Tom is quintessentially old money. He comes from a family that has enormous
Gatsby's always wanted to become rich, but his main reason in earning his wealth was to impress his love Daisy Buchanan, whom he met before he left to fight in WW1. Joining the war, Gatsby's love for Daisy ended and she ended up marrying a rich man named Tom Buchanan. When Gatsby returned from the war he had an obsession with Daisy and would do anything to get her back on his side. In order to get back with Daisy, Gatsby thought money and lavish living was key. He bought an enormous mansion in West egg right across the bay from Daisy’s place to try and get her attention.
Characters who truly had grasps on the American Dream such as Tom and Daisy were “old money”. They had inherited their fortune therefore they did not have to work for the lifestyle they lived. Tom can give Daisy the true fairytale lifestyle while Gatsby’s wealth is never secure. Daisy is extremely materialistic, but in a very different way from Gatsby. She doesn’t strive for more money, but rather the extravagant and classy use of it.
“Absolutely real--have pages and everything.”” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925). People could spent millions and millions of dollars on useless things, just to show how rich they are. Education was playing an important role, so it was really prestigious to have own library in the house, full of books. But it was very expensive to have real ones, so people used “fake” books just to create an illusion how rich they are. Nouveau riche were pointing on everything and were not shy to talk about their money.
Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men to ever live because of aggressive investment, constantly connecting with influential people, and a complete focus on accumulation of both wealth and knowledge. The American dream became more than a dream for Andrew Carnegie. He emigrated from Scotland in 1848, when he was 12 years old (Andrew Carnegie) with nothing to his name. His family was forced to leave their homes because Carnegie’s father’s business had failed. While he may have seen his father as a failure, he himself “Carnegie was gregarious, effervescent and a social mingler who loved to entertain.” (Fraser).
Throughout history, the way people became rich was through family. 65 years prior was the California Gold Rush, which gave the common people a taste of the rich life and gave hope to many people that felt they would never be rich. This also caused people to let money go to their head; it didn't matter how they got it as long as they had it, and if they had it, they had power. Within this mindset came more people that wanted the fancy, rich life at any cost. So when Prohibition started up, it was a monumental step to earn money quick.
The characters portat different tiers of greed. At the highest tier, so to say the most greedy, is occupied by Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom and Daisy are arguably the most greedy people in the whole novel. They did not have to make their way up the ranks as Tom was born into a rich family and daisy also being born into a wealthy family. Daisy is in love with Gatsby, but as war comes Gatsby has to serve his role in it.