Effects Of Materialism In The Great Gatsby Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby portrays and critiques the concept of the American Dream during the 1920s and highlights that at the root of the dream is just extreme materialism and consumerism. Fitzgerald depicts this time period’s ideal “American Dream” as virtually devoid of moral values and full of materialism, avarice, and the never-ending search for small meaningless pleasures—a corrupt society and era were making a “quick buck” outweighed morality and virtuous principles.

Prior to this time period, the woman’s part in life was to tend to their husbands and children, but Fitzgerald portrays them as becoming more self-interested and more focused on achieving and maintaining a high status in society, as well as being disloyal to their families, who should be their top priority.

The main women in the novel, Daisy and Myrtle, are characterized as disloyal, materialistic, reliant of men, yet still highly desirable for men. The females in The Great Gatsby are depicted in an unfavorable manner, exemplifying the corrupt nature of the American dream because, even though they are quite honestly terrible people, men still strongly desire them because it brings their status up in society.

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It is a society of people using each other for selfish pursuits.

The person Gatsby has always loved is Tom Buchanan’s wife, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby and Daisy maintained a strong relationship in their youth, but they were forcefully separated by the war. Daisy had promised Gatsby that she would be waiting for him to be with him when he returned, but she did not make good on that promise, as she ended up developing a relationship with a different man.

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All of the sudden, Gatsby makes his way back into Daisy’s life and her attraction to him is rekindled as he was now wealthy and had an abundance of material goods. Gatsby used Daisy’s attraction to his wealth to his advantage, and he brings her to his massive mansion in an effort to impress her with his wealth and win back her attraction. When Daisy visits, she notices Gatsby’s collection of clothing “they’re such beautiful shirts, she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds” (92). This scene really highlights the materialistic nature of Daisy’s character and thus the vast amount of materialism involved in the American dream. She was crying over clothing because of how much money she believed they were worth, and that evoked a more emotional response than Gatsby for her.


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