Love Versus Social Status

1033 Words5 Pages
“The Great Gatsby” The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, focuses on America in the 1920’s and an American dream based on wealth and material excess. Fitzgerald shows that in the 1920’s social and moral values were decaying because so many people were indulging in vain and unrealistic pleasures of the world. Through the mindset of conspicuous consumption among Americans, people were overly concerned about wealth and social status. All three characters are examples of this mind set and it is why Daisy is unable to sacrifice her privileged social status with Tom to be with Gatsby. Her relationship with Gatsby was defiantly closer to the definition of love, but because of where her heart really is, she’s better suited for Tom. This idea of old wealth and new wealth defines a line between Tom and Gatsby. Old wealth is money born into and passed down through the family and new wealth is acquired or obtained in a lifetime. An example was when Gatsby feels unable to speak in Buchanan’s house because of the barriers of wealth. Gatsby says, “I can’t say anything in his house, old sport” (?). Gatsby does have money, but it isn’t the kind that allows him into Daisy’s world. Tom knows that his wealth gives him a lot of power and influence and this is what lures Daisy into marrying him. In describing Tom’s wealth Nick says,” His family was enormously wealthy- even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach” (6). This wealth and power makes him believe he should get whomever he chooses. He is a compatible match with Daisy because she too is of old wealth and they both are looking for a higher social status, and not true love. Gatsby knowing that most people in his era were all about social status and wealth, made people think that he was of old wealth by throwing extravagant parties. This also made the impression that he

More about Love Versus Social Status

Open Document