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Materialism - Great gatsby

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Materialism - Great gatsby The 1920's in the United States was a time of economic growth in which people lived frivolous lives by believing their money would make them happy. It was a time of alcoholic prohibition and a time of emancipation for women. Thus, it was a time of parties, drinking and wild women for those who could afford it. Those who were at the bottom of society were constantly striving for the top of the economic ladder. This time era, in Long Island, is the basis of F. Scotts Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby. It has become one of the great classics in American literature and is well known for its commentary on social status. Through the introduction of many "status" oriented characters, Fitzgerald comments on the social lives of those living in the twenties. But does it go beyond the social status issues it addresses, and focus on something deeper? Yes, the characters may focus on their constant climb to economic well being, but more importantly they reveal a theme of The Great Gatsby: in the midst of man's heart is loneliness and the need to be needed, which is surrounded by the greed of money. ...read more.


. . . I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her . . . [She said,] 'Well, I've had a very bad time, Nick, and I'm pretty cynical about everything.' Evidently she had reason to be" (p.17). In this conversation, she recalls her daughter's birth. She remembers bursting into tears and making this comment: "'All right . . . I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool'" (p.17). She obviously wants to spare her daughter the pain through which she has gone through because of the men that have been in her life, and the only way to achieve that is to be a "beautiful little fool." Tom Buchanan, Daisy's Husband, is the male equivalent of his wife. Despite his domineering attitude and macho outward appearance, when it comes down to it, Tom is just as lonely as the rest. When his mistress, a lower class women known as Mildred Wilson, is killed, and when his wife is considering leaving him, his facade quickly crumbles away to reveal yet another person afraid of being alone. In a heated discussion with Gatsby, words of defense and panic flow from his lips. ...read more.


The finality of Gatsby's loneliness is seen at the funeral, when the "love of his life" fails to even send flowers. While she is off wallowing in the comfort of her money, Gatsby is alone in the grave with only his father and Nick taking a moment to remember him. Of all the people in Gatsby's lifetime who took advantage of his house, cars, money, and parties, none of them cared enough to even pay their respects. His life started out lonely; he "had never really accepted . . . his parents" (p.99), so he became a lonely wanderer. Even when he found his one true love, he is stripped away from her and dumped alone once more. Then, as he dedicates his life to be reunited with the illusion he creates, he comes to the realization that it is all a lie. He was born lonely, lived lonely, and died alone. Loneliness, money, heartbreak and greed are bound together in the pages of The Great Gatsby through Fitzgerald's characters. Their thoughts and actions show that they all need someone to love them, however, money always seems to get in the way. Fitzgerald makes an amazing statement, not only on the time in which he lived, but also on mankind as a whole. He makes it apparent that money does not bring happiness, but rather leaves a gap of loneliness that can only be filled with sincere love. ...read more.

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