Examples Of Power In The Great Gatsby

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Dahlin Allport Mrs. Frantzen English 11 Honors 9 March 2023 Wealth and Power in The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby perfectly encapsulates the roaring 1920s, characterized by a booming economy and a carefree cultural revolution. Set in New York City in the 1920s, The Great Gatsby is a story of extravagant wealth. The characters, Gatsby, an incredibly wealthy bootlegger, Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy who inherited significant wealth and Jordan Baker, a professional golfer who amassed her own small fortune depict the wealth of the era. The characters also give the reader a solid understanding of the novel through a Marxist lens. The novel, The Great Gatsby, explores the extent to which wealth contributes to power through …show more content…

Baker may not be as wealthy as Gatsby but as a professional golfer she controls her own small self made fortune. Baker's wealth gives her a unique independence not allowed to many women during the 1920s. As a product of her career, Baker has her own source of revenue. She does not need a husband to sustain her and thus lives with much greater freedom than most women of her era. Jordan Baker’s self sufficiency leaves her with the power to choose any husband or to not choose one at all. Jordan Baker chooses men by “instinctively avoid[ing] shrewd, clever men.” () Jordan Baker’s wealth allows her the ability to choose a man. Baker, in order to remain in a position of power, chooses to get with men less intelligent than herself. This choice is only made possible because Jordan Baker has no need to get married. She already has all the money and connections she would need. Instead, Baker chooses men who leave her in the position of power. Men who she can outwit, who would leave her with her power and freedom. Additionally, Baker is a pathological liar, and is incredibly dishonest. It is because of her hunger for power that she lies so much. Baker would do anything to remain powerful. Jordan Baker’s wealth gives her many freedoms and a good deal of power. Her wealth allows her to live independently, not get married and to choose a husband who she could control thus keeping her power and …show more content…

Wilson, owner of an auto shop in the valley of ashes, lives a modest hard working life. Myrtle, His wife, wants a more lavish lifestyle that George Wilson fails to provide. Wilson cannot give Myrtle what she wants, she instead turns to the rich Tom Buchanan to fulfill her desires. George is meanwhile too busy slaving away in his shop trying to make money to give Myrtle what she wants. He becomes powerless to stop the affair. Initially, George Wilson made Myrtle quite happy, however, things took a turn for the worst following their wedding day. Myrtle, reflecting on the days following their wedding says ““The only crazy I was was when I married him…He borrowed somebody's best suit to get married in.’”(35) Myrtle immediately regrets her marriage upon finding out his financial situation. George is so poor that he is powerless to even hold onto his own wife. Myrtle wants more than Wilson can provide and as a result she turns to Tom Buchanan to fulfill her needs. Wilson, forced by his economic status to work constantly, is unable to prevent his wife from cheating on him. George Wilson’s lack of wealth leaves him powerless throughout his

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