Essay on Materialism in the Great Gatsby
905 WordsOct 29th, 20124 Pages
“Money Changes Everything” by Cyndi Lauper illustrates the way people center their desires on material things such as money. The speaker in the song leaves the poor man, solely because he does not have money, for the affluent one: “I’m leaving you tonight…There was one thing we weren’t really thinking of and that’s money” (Lauper 1, 6-7). Like Cyndi Lauper, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates the way people often center their desires on material things such as money in The Great Gatsby. Daisy falls in love with Gatsby, who is a poor man at the time, and when Gatsby leaves for the war, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan, who is a rich man, because he is “old money,” meaning he will always have the money and status to support Daisy. When Gatsby returns…show more content…
Daisy’s materialism is revealed when she allows money to influence her decisions, and her life becomes a mess because of it, which is what Fitzgerald tries to teach to his audience.
Gatsby’s love for Daisy propels his materialism, which leads to his ultimate downfall. Gatsby uses his words and specious actions to prove to Daisy that he is rich so she will love him by giving Daisy a tour of his house. Exploring Gatsby’s house is when Gatsby is careful to point out to Daisy his lavish possessions that are present in his many extravagant rooms: “We went upstairs, through period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk and vivid with new flowers, through dressing-rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms, with sunken baths” (91). After strolling through Gatsby’s house, Gatsby takes Daisy up to his closet and begins to boast about his expensive clothes so that Daisy realizes that Gatsby is rich, and, “He took out a pile of shirts, and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray” (92). Daisy’s desire and obsession with materialistic things is also evident because after she sees all of these shirts, she begins crying because of
Materialism in "The Great Gatsby" Essay
515 Words3 Pages
" We are living in a material world." This famous line in one of Madonna's songs entitled "Material Girl" will never outgrow itself. Ever since the beginnings of monetary means, the main focus of living is getting more money and to be as successful as possible. This became a huge issue during the 1920's. In this era, people made money from the stock market, illegal bootlegging and so forth. With these people hitting the jackpot, this then created a new rank called `new money'. This rank, however, never overpowered `old money' the most wealthiest, well-known and respected class. The possession of material wealth however, can't bring true happiness. Love is an important factor in this equation; when you don't have love, it is hard to say…show more content…
Though they seemed very close with each other, marriage wasn't in the picture. `Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. `"She [Daisy] never loved you [Tom], do you hear?" he cried. "She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!"'(137). Even though love did seem important for Daisy, it didn't top the fact that Gatsby had no money to support the both of them. This is one way that materialism proves itself to be on top.
Another way is the superficial relationship that Tom and Daisy have. They are hardly Communicable towards each other and the way this is described is obvious."Daisy and Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table with a plate of cold fried chicken between them and two bottles of ale. He was talking intently across the table at her hand and in his earnestness his hand had fallen upon and covered her own. Once in awhile she looked up at him and nodded in agreement. They weren't happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or ale-and yet they weren't unhappy either" (152). Daisy and Tom have been married for five years and this happiness and unhappiness they do and don't feel deals primarily with the fact that their relationship is not based on love. They don't look as if they share a deep connection-a connection such as Daisy and Gatsby's.
Daisy and Tom's happiness is based on both of them coming from money,