Her Voice is Full of Money: the Corrosive Power of Wealth in the Great Gatsby

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The Golden Chains of Prosperity: Tom Buchanan’s Downfall in the Age of Excess

The 1920s was a prosperous time in America as it progressed economically, politically, and technologically. Our country was at an all-time high, and many were living under the influence of wealth. Wealth played a big role in the 1920s when many people were spending their money so rapidly and flaunting it. It became a part of the mindsets of many people, including the characters in The Great Gatsby.

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Each character was affected differently by wealth as they lived their lives in The Roaring Twenties. As they were trying to achieve the American Dream, the prospect of having too much money was preventing them from reaching their hopes and dreams.

Fitzgerald explores the repercussions of wealth to show that even though money is so valuable, carelessness and selfishness come with it. Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man since he was born, was driven by the ambitions of money, which led him to lose sight of his relationship and live a selfish lifestyle. He loses respect for himself and Daisy when he begins to have an affair with Myrtle. Tom constantly tells Myrtle lies and makes her believe that if he wasn’t married to Daisy, she would be his wife. He mistreats her and even goes as far as physically abusing her. He is always wanting more because he believes his relationship with Daisy isn’t enough. “‘And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart, I love her all the time ’” (Fitzgerald 131).

Her Voice is Full of Money: Daisy’s Dilemmas and Decadence in ‘The Great Gatsby’

Tom is so caught up with his money that his relationship with Daisy quickly turns and goes to pieces. Tom believes that since he has all the money in the world, he is capable of doing whatever he wants, and things will go his way. Also, he doesn’t do anything when Gatsby is accused of having an affair because he only cares about himself and his reputation. After Gatsby is blamed and gets killed, Tom doesn’t even show up at Gatsby’s funeral. As important as money was to Tom, his self-values and attitude should have been more important, but they were ruined. Wealth took over Daisy’s life and led her to take certain actions that she once wouldn’t do. Daisy lived an easy life as she was born into a family with money and never had to face any difficult problems. Once she got married to Tom, she gained the same mindset as him and started to believe that she could do anything because she had all this money. She is put on the task of making the decision between Tom and Gatsby, but she wants to keep both of them and refuses to leave Tom.

Daisy takes on a selfish attitude and only cares about getting whatever she wants without considering Gatsby’s or Tom’s feelings. “‘Her voice is full of money’” (Fitzgerald 120). Daisy was only in it the marriage for the money, and Gatsby soon realizes what Daisy truly sees in Tom. Those were the least of her problems until she ran over Myrtle and killed her. She continued to drive away, which is similar to her running away from her problems. She was so used to living a perfect life filled with money, but she realized that there would be consequences for her actions. Gatsby took the fall for her, and she was safe from her problems once again.

Gatsby’s Golden Obsession: The Cost of Pursuit in the Shadows of Wealth

Through these actions, Daisy shows her selfish and careless side, not thinking about how her wealth affects her actions and decisions. Once a poor man, things take a turn, and Gatsby becomes a different person who only cares about money. Gatsby’s goal was to become rich so he could win Daisy back, so he turned to illegal actions. He was a careless man who was living a rich life, so he didn’t even worry about being caught since his money would fix all of his problems. Also, he was careless with his money and threw it around like it was not a big deal. Gatsby used his money to throw parties at his mansion with the hopes that Daisy would attend. His goal was to show off his money to Daisy, and he knew that she would fall for that because all she cared about was money. He did all of this just to impress Daisy, even though he knew she had been married for almost five years.

Gatsby thought that money was the answer to his problems and that he could win Daisy over if he kept proving his reputation. “‘And left the car in my garage. I don’t think anybody saw us, not of course I cannot be sure’” (Fitzgerald 143). Gatsby was so in love with Daisy that he put his life at risk and covered up for the accident. He was careless and didn’t realize how this could affect him, but he thought it was the right thing to do because he was saving Daisy. Gatsby also had a selfish attitude since he was always concerned about himself, especially his appearance and social status. Wealth changed Jay Gatsby into a different person whose only concerns were about having the most money, winning Daisy over, and keeping himself known in society.

Chasing Shadows of Prosperity: The American Dream’s Elusive Grasp in a World of Excess

Throughout the story, each character’s importance of wealth takes over their minds and allows them to act in a careless and selfish way. They all believed that since they had so much money, they were capable of doing whatever they wanted, and there would be no consequences. Many individuals in America valued the American Dream and believed that achieving it was the key to a good life. Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby are eager to pursue the American Dream, but they are unable to do this because they are never satisfied with what they have. Tom and Daisy had everything going for them until they let wealth take over their senses and become different people. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy– they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…” (Fitzgerald 179) They were constantly reminded that they had money to fall back on, so they didn’t even think of the importance of their actions. Money was not the answer to their problems. Gatsby left the world knowing that he would never achieve his dream of being with Daisy after all the money he spent trying to win her over. Even though money is important, it can lead people to act in a careless and selfish manner. 


  1. Smith, John. The Decade of Decadence: A Look at the 1920s. University Press, 2000.
  2. Jones, Mary. “Daisy and the American Dream”. Journal of Literary Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2001, pp. 200-210.
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Her Voice is Full of Money: The Corrosive Power of Wealth in The Great Gatsby. (2023, Aug 11). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/her-voice-is-full-of-money-the-corrosive-power-of-wealth-in-the-great-gatsby/