Money Corruption in "The Great Gatsby" | Teen Ink

Money Corruption in "The Great Gatsby"

November 17, 2021
By 23jenniferagoodine PLATINUM, Easley, South Carolina
23jenniferagoodine PLATINUM, Easley, South Carolina
24 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Wealth. Mansions. Class. F. Scott Fitzgerald is the author of The Great Gatsby. Throughout the novel, some of the main characters are Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. The novel is about Jay Gatsby, a wealthy guy who lived in West Egg, New York, who held on to his one love for the amazing and beautiful Daisy Buchanan until he had nothing else. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald shows that money can corrupt people’s lives through the choices characters make.

People’s money corrupts people’s choices in judgment. In this scene, Daisy is telling Gatsby she will love him, but she did love Tom once. According to Daisy, “‘Oh, you want too much!’ She cried to Gatsby. ‘I love you now isn't that enough? I can't help what's past.’ She began to sob helplessly. ‘I did love him once but I loved you too.’” Fitzgerald uses this to show that Daisy only loves them for their wealth and status. This shows that Daisy has old money and the money corrupts her judgment of never knowing the difference between want or just being provided for. It also shows how her and Gatsby’s love tie together because they both just want to be with each other to have more wealth and status. In this scene, Gatsby is telling Nick stories from his past about how he met Daisy and how in love he was. Nick says, “Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor” (Fitzgerald 150). Fitzgerald uses this quote to show Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy and only love her for her money and the life she led. This also proves how when he was poor he just loved her for her money more than and still does now.  In the article, Peterson states, “With exceptions, the least happy nations are the poorest, and the happiest nations are the richest” (Peterson). This states that people with less money are not happy. This could be wrong people assume something because they use judgment which could be wrong, and they don't see it that way.  In the world of The Great Gatsby, money and judgment do not mix well together and it is always a path of recklessness.

People’s money corrupts people’s choices on how to solve their problems. In this scene, we get an introduction to Tom who is arguing with Gatsby on who loves Daisy more. Tom says, “‘I found out what your 'drug-stores were.’ He turned to us and spoke rapidly. "He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That's one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn't far wrong" (Fitzgerald 133). This shows Toms’s anger and jealousy get the best of him because he does not like the way Gatsby makes his money. He thinks it's unprofessional and not suitable for Daisy. This next scene shows the aftermath of Myrtle’s, George’s, and Gatsby’s deaths. Nick says, “I couldn't forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy, they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated 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). This shows after everyone died, Tom and Daisy went unpunished for their carelessness. They used their money to run away instead of owning up to their mistakes. This shows they did not care about the people around them and their problems.

Money corrupts people’s choices in their relationships. In this scene, Gatsby is showing off his wealth to Daisy by throwing shirts everywhere. Daisy says, “‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such a beautiful shirt before’” (Fitzgerald 92). Daisy’s reaction could be that she only cares about material goods and finer materials, which would make her like Gatsby more now and regret her past. It could make her regret her past because she can see how Gatsby could treat her differently than Tom ever did. Nick says, "They had spent a year in France, for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestful, wherever people played polo and were rich together" (Fitzgerald 6). This states Tom being unrestful by having affairs that Daisy knows about causes resentment in their relationship and lots of problems to come. This relates to the quote because it shows that they were not all that happy together and that there were problems in the marriage that neither of them was trying to fix. According to Tom, "What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust into 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 even stopped his car” this shows that Tom used his money to get away, so he was not connected to the deaths of Myrtle, Gatsby, and George because when Nick called their servant answered and said they left town for a bit. He used it to get what he wanted, which was to make sure Daisy would never leave him for Gatsby, so he told George that Gatsby was the one driving the car to protect Daisy, and he knew Gatsby was going to take the blame anyway so, either way, Tom knew he won. Overall money and relationships do not mix because together they destroy people’s relationships.

Money corruption is a big topic in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is portrayed through the character’s choices throughout the novel. This is a major theme because it happens to all the characters, but it also shows the type of person they are in the novel. After he wrote The Great Gatsby a few years after this was written, America was hit with The Great Depression which lasted 1929-1933. This relates to the overall theme it shows that it does happen because ruthless people get so corrupted by money and do not care. The character’s choices throughout the novel are corrupted by money. 

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This article has 1 comment.

Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Nov. 22 2021 at 8:03 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
129 articles 33 photos 957 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love, because you can’t love your way out of the lunatic asylum, but it makes it more fun to be a lunatic.

Wow you really exposed the truth behind this novel...