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I will discuss during the course of this essay the above theme in the two following books - The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy.

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Introduction

Wealth and Possession in 19th and 20th century fiction I will discuss during the course of this essay the above theme in the two following books - The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy. Much has been written in each of the two books on this theme. Very briefly I will describe how. . . The Great Gatsby is a book with a main character who is almost disgustingly rich, and possesses an almost inhuman ability to focus on one thing throughout his life - the accumulation of vast quantities of money this is his love for a female character who is known by the name of Daisy throughout the book War and Peace "Up to now historical science in its relation to humanity's inquiry is like money in circulation - bank-notes and coin. The biographies and national histories are the paper money. They may pass and circulate and fulfil their function without mischief to anyone, and even to advantage, so long as no question arises as to the security behind them. One has only to forget to ask how the will of heroes produces events and the histories of Thiers and his fellows will be interesting, instructive and not without their touch of poetry. ...read more.

Middle

In the early days of marriage it had seemed strange to him that his wife should expect him to remember all the items he had undertaken to buy, and he had been taken aback by her serious annoyance when he returned after his first absence, having forgotten everything. But in time he had grown used to this. Knowing that Natasha never asked him to get anything thing for herself, and only gave him commissions for others when he himself volunteered, he now found an unforeseen and childlike pleasure in this purchase of presents for the whole household and never forgot anything. If he incurred Natasha's censure now, it was only for buying and spending too much. To her other defects (as most people thought them but which to Pierre were virtues) of untidiness and neglect of herself Natasha certainly added that of thriftiness. From the time that Pierre set up as a family man on a scale entailing heavy expenditure he had noticed to his astonishment that he spent only half as much as in the past, and that his circumstances, somewhat straitened latterly (mainly owing to his first wife's debts) were beginning to improve. Living was cheaper because it was circumscribed: that most expensive of luxuries, the sort of life which allows of going somewhere else or doing something different at a moment's notice, was his no longer, nor did he have any desire for it. ...read more.

Conclusion

On weekends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered past like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shear repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York - every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred fleet of canvas and enough coloured lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a darts gold. In the main hall a bar with real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another." ...read more.

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