Materialism in the novel The Great Gatsby
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People always seem to agree that money does not buy happiness. I disagree. I can accept that I am materialist. People criticize this trait about people. I look at it from another perspective. People everywhere regarding color, religion or nationality are materialist whether they accept it or not. Of course there are different levels but the bottom line is we humans are attracted to material things. Why do we study? We study so we can get a good job. Why do we work? So we can earn money and buy the things we want to buy.
People that do not study or work are still interested in obtaining things but in a different way, for example they get married to someone rich or they steal money. In the book “The Great Gatsby” materialistic behavior is very common. One of the main ideas of the book is to demonstrate this types of behavior. So why did Daisy married Tom when in fact at the time she loved Gatsby? Easy answer. She wanted someone that could pay for the type of life she wanted to have. Gatsby knew this that is why he work hard and waited until he had money to appear again in Daisy’s life “She never loved you, do you hear?
She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me” Gatsby told Tom. He knew that if he can’t support her she will prefer her actual husband without hesitation. People all around Gatsby were just taking advantage of his wealth. He did not had a single friend, the closest thing he had to a friend was Nick Carraway his neighbor. Daisy’s story can make her look as if she just takes advantage of her pretty face to get what she wants. But she has had her share of sufferement. The night before her marriage she got drunk and talked nonsense as if she did not care about her wedding.
She took the expensive pearls that Tom gave her and said “Take ’em downstairs and give ’em back to whoever they belonged to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say Daisy’s change her mine. ” She was unhappy because she was not marrying the guy she loved. But guess what? Besides getting drunk she did nothing about it. Why? Well you guessed it, her need to obtain materials things outweighed her own personal happiness. That reminds me of something I read somewhere it says that if you want to get what you want you have to make some sacrifices.
She choose to sacrifice her happiness for a life of luxury. After many years Gatsby came back to Daisy’s life. He was loaded with money and properties which to my “surprise” attracted her. She had her an affair with him. Gatsby confronted Tom and they got into a discussion until Daisy openly replied “I never loved him. ” Right there she showed her true face but it seemed that she changed her mind a moment later mainly because she did not wanted to shut the door to Tom completely. She replied later “Oh you want too much!
I love you now—isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past. I did love him once— but I love you too. ” When Gatsby died Daisy did not went to his funeral nor send a letter or even a rose. Did she even loved Gatsby? I think that she couldn’t show empathy for Gatsby because she choosed Tom and she did not want to lose both. Gatsby is a very rich man that takes advantage of his money to have people around him. People might think that Gatsby is the one that is being taken advantage of. Well it works both ways. He wins friends by throwing huge parties.
Only the people that really cared about Gatsby attended his funeral. When Nick tried to call people to attend Gatsby funeral he found out how people really were. When he talked to Klipspringer and invited him to the funeral he replied “We’ll, I’ll certainly try. What I called up about this—” he was clearly making an excuse for not attending. I think Gatsby grew accustomed to getting everything he wanted with money.
This applied to Daisy also. When he got reunited with her he became very nervous because he did not know what to talk about and he said to Nick. This is a terrible mistake, terrible terrible mistake” . He showed off everything he had, his house, his car, his suits just to impress her “My house looks well, doesn’t it? See how the whole front of it catches the light. It took me just three years to earn the money that bought it. ” Even though he obtained money Daisy decided not to bolt. All that he accomplished was just for the sole purpose of being good enough for Daisy and at the end she decided to stay with her husband.
Too many things had happened, Daisy had been marred to Tom for several years and they had a children of their own. Gatsby did not understand this, he thought that things will were the same when in fact things were very different because now Daisy was not only attached to Tom for money but because of her daughter and stability. In conclusion I think that the author greatly emphasized materialism in the novel. He story was all about money and what it could buy. This proves that everyone and everything have prize.
I have gotten this conclusion from my own point of view, this is the way I have interpreted the book and some people might call this conclusion a little too harsh or untrue. This is my point of view and I think it is one of the main topics of the book. At the beginning of the book Nick took pride on calling himself an honest and straightforward person but after this whole experience changed him and he admitted it at the end when he replied to Jordan “I’m thirty. I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor. “