Wealth in the Great Gatsby
In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald money and wealth can create a distinctive explanation on someone’s life which can affect what lays ahead of them. Wealth can be such a great effect on someone whether they are an egocentric or a thoughtful person. Wealth can be both very misleading and can overpower many, which would show someone’s true colors and identity. Which shows us that wealth is not everything and it can’t buy you anything you want which is how wealth can be misleading in a person’s life.
How wealth can be misleading is due to the fact that money can create a feeling of being untouchable. As an example of this is stated in the following quote: “Don’t tell me, old sport.’ He winced. ‘Anyhow-Daisy stepped on it. I tried to make her stop but she couldn’t so I pulled the emergency brake. Then she fell over into my lap and I drove on” (151). What this shows is that Tom and Daisy are selfish people who are misled due to money. As this makes both of them feel capable of getting away from any situation due to their wealth. Also, Tom’s behavior in the novel clearly reveals the fact that he is overwhelmed by the wealth that it makes him feel as if he has all the power in the world and that he can buy or be granted anything he wants due to this wealth. As Tom seems to have so much ‘power’ that he has no such guilt, as is seen even when Myrtle is killed.
Although he felt sad for only a small amount of time his lack of guilt still takes place when Myrtle is dead. Also, Tom is so miss led by money that it makes him feel as if he can cheat on Daisy because of being so wealthy and holding so much power. As Tom tries to hold his power is stated in the following quote:’ ‘That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust in your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you’d run over a dog and never stopped his car,’ (Tom 187). Meaning that Tom wanted everyone to believe that Gatsby was the one who killed Myrtle. Showing that Tom and also Daisy do not care about who is affected by any situation but only care about a beneficial outcome. Showing that Tom and Daisy only want things to suit them. Which is why both of them are misled by money and power which shows their true identity.
As for Gatsby what wealth did to him as it gave him a fortune and lead to a glamorous life for him but what it did not do was regain his true love, which is something that his wealth could never purchase. But what it did do was show his true colors and also the true colors of Tom and Daisy as said before. As this is seen in the following “My Finn informed me that Gatsby had dismissed every servant in his house a week ago and replaced them with half a dozen others” (114). As the meaning of this is that it infers how Gatsby uses his money to protect him from rumors by paying his servants. As this example also shows how Tom and Daisy are manipulated into thinking that money can solve any problem. Which is another example why money can not get you the true things that you want and is another reason why money is misleading. A positive side to this is that it shows that Gatsby is determined to get what he wants at all cost. Although he never truly got what he wanted he still never gave up as the following quote symbolizes the determination of Gatsby; “Too Young Gatz, resting on his oars and looking up at the railed deck, that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world” (100). The meaning of this is that Gatsby holds a great desire for wealth and his material items. Which is positive because Gatsby does gain that wealth and material but the bad part is that Gatsby believed that he could get Daisy with his wealth and power. But all that ended up being false. Which is another prime example of why wealth is misleading and that it can’t buy true happiness
Gatsby was a very hard working person but had the wrong idea through the novel. As Gatsby thought that his wealth would be the solution towards everything but it really wasn’t. As this is seen when Gatsby shows off his shirts to Daisy; ‘beautiful shirts It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before’ (Fitzgerald 98). A bit odd for Daisy to cry over shirts, but ‘It is not the shirts themselves that overwhelm her but what they symbolize . .’ (Cowley 43). The meaning of the shirts is that they show Gatsby’s wealth and it also shows that Gatsby trying to purchase Daisy’s love. As this is seen many times as Fitzgerald shows how Gatsby uses his money to try to buy Daisy.
Also in the novel, we know that Daisy and Tom are selfish people which makes us know that Daisy’s main worry is money. Which Gatsby realizes, and is mislead by this. As he wanted her so bad that he did illegal actions due to the fact that he believes that the only way he can have Daisy is by being wealthy. As this idea is stated in the following; ‘Then wear the gold hat, if that move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cries ‘Lover, gold hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!’ (56 ). What this shows us is that Gatsby tries to buy Daisy love but fails due to being miss directed by what wealth. Which is why money can’t buy you, true love.
The Great Gatsby holds a lot of main ideas. But one of the bigger ideas is that in the novel money is, in fact, misleading and it can affect characters in many ways. Such as believing in having a mass amount of power over others and also very very very misleading. As the idea of being wealthy affected the view that Gatsby had in his life and it also changed people such as Tom and Daisy. As it misleads them to believe that money can solve and purchase anything and that it can give you a massive amount of power which is false and ultimately lead to the downfall of Gatsby due to being miss lead by what wealth could really do. Which is why wealth is not everything and it can’t buy you anything you want which is how wealth can be misleading in many ways to the life of people.