Great Gatsby Materialism

769 Words4 Pages
The American dream is the idea through hard work, everyone has the opportunity to become fabulously rich. The goal is a luxurious life without a care in the world, but F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, refutes that idea, believing that this dream life leads to a decadent life. Fitzgerald writes The Great Gatsby as a critique of the American Dream. This belief of his reflects in his novel. The main character: Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby, are all wealthy people; they indulge themselves in their unnecessary luxuries, and in turn, turn immoral, each in their own ways. Tom and Daisy are a perfect example of how materialism leads to moral decay. The two constantly flee from their problems, into their castle of money. In the novel, the protagonist…show more content…
There is a word that perfectly describes Gatsby: decadent. The Merriam-Webster defines decadence as “behavior that shows low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc.” Gatsby was not born into wealth, unlike Tom and Daisy; he had to work for it. This pursuit of money is what causes Gatsby to become immoral, not materialism itself. At an early, impressionable age of Gatsby’s life, Gatsby meets millionaire Dan Cody. Cody takes Gatsby in as his assistant, where Gatsby gets a taste and liking of the rich life. However, Dan Cody’s wife kills her own husband to steal his money; more proof that desperation of money leads to moral decay. Gatsby learns that money would not be earned through honest hands. Thus, Gatsby enters the bootlegging business where his morals deteriorate. All of this money is solely for Daisy. Gatsby does not love Daisy, he is in love with the idea of Daisy. He notes about Daisy, “Her voice is full of money,” (120). To Gatsby, Daisy represents what it is to live rich: a life of pleasure, money, and fame. Gatsby does not want it, he needs it, and in order to do that, he needs to win Daisy’s love. He achieves this goal by becoming rich and spending it on unnecessary luxuries. It does not matter to Gatsby that the money is illegal, he will stop at nothing to achieve being with Daisy. That is the very definition of decadence: morally wrong and gluttonous. This pursuit for
Open Document