Material Wealth In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Throughout The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, material wealth is a major topic that works to convey the theme of class. There are three main classes in The Great Gatsby: old money, applying to characters like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, new money, applying to characters like Jay Gatsby, and no money, applying to characters like George and Myrtle Wilson. The no money class is overlooked in society, where the main focus in society is the rivalry between old and new money. Old money has many connections in society and their fortunes date to past ventures made by their families, whereas new money has almost no connections, and their fortunes are tied to success in 20th century America. Both look down upon each other, as old money views new money as having no taste with its lavish display of wealth whereas new money looks down to old money as being snotty. Both overlook the plight of the middle to lower social classes and focus on their own rivalries. Old money, of which Tom …show more content…

Nick begins to see the ugly side of both societies. Nick is disgusted with Tom, who cheats on his wife Daisy, while also being disgusted with new money and its effects on the lives of its beholders. For example, Nick is disgusted with Klipspringer, a new money “friend” of Gatsby’s who stays in his mansion, taking advantage of his hospitality, and does not even attend Gatsby’s funeral when he dies. Instead, he inquires Nick about a pair of shoes he left at Gatsby’s mansion, saying to Nick over the phone, “What I called for was a pair of shoes...have the butler send them on” (Fitzgerald 169). Nick hangs up the phone, repulsed by new money prestige and shallowness. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald uses material wealth to convey to the reader the general theme of class. In doing so, Fitzgerald exposes the shallowness of wealth on both sides, old and new, and the dissatisfaction, hedonism, pride, sin, and greed it

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