Wealth In The Great Gatsby

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The Connection of Wealth and Personality in Fitzgerald’s Works In our society, money is seen as the most important factor in decision making and in our overall lives. This is shown throughout all of Fitzgerald’s works and in many of his characters. His stories continually mention the effect that money has on the community. In one of her criticisms, Mary Jo Tate explains that “[Fitzgerald] was not a simple worshiper of wealth or the wealthy, but rather he valued wealth for the freedom and possibilities it provided, and he criticized the rich primarily for wasting those opportunities. He rightly identified that money - both its presence and its absence - does something to people” (1). These ideals reflect what can be seen in all of his literary…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Gatsby displays his riches through his mansion, expensive car, and many other things. Nick even describes how extravagant Gatsby’s house is, saying, “The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard—it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 5). As Nick describes, Gatsby’s house is very large and modern, which shows his affluence. Before he became rich and privileged, Gatsby was James Gatz, a poor Midwestern boy who dreamed of becoming wealthy. This dream led Gatsby to do crazy things in order to make money, but it worked out for him in the end. Nick describes Gatsby “a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father 's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 98). He compares Gatsby and Jesus Christ to show how he created his own identity. After he reinvented himself as a rich man, Gatsby had to maintain his image, so he went to the extremes to make as much money as he could. These extreme ways of making money worked very well for him, but the…show more content…
In the story, the narrator describes the rich as “different from you and me. [The rich] possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand” (Fitzgerald, “The Rich Boy” 3). The narrator 's description is very accurate, which is shown especially in the main character, Anson, who was born into a wealthy family and exhibits many of these characteristics. Tate, a critical writer explains that “‘The Rich Boy’ is not so much about wealth itself as about the effect of wealth on character, and the primary effect on Anson is an over power sense of superiority” (1). This superiority that Anson feels directly correlates with his upbringing because he has more money than most people. It is easy to think that you are better than somebody else based on your opportunities or
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