Who Is The Rich In The Great Gatsby

1331 Words6 Pages
Besides the stunning prose, beautiful description, and exciting plot, critics over the years celebrate The Great Gatsby by F. Scott for the sharp social criticism and portrayal of the wealthy circles of New York in the 1920’s. Although the people may have been the social elite of their time, The Great Gatsby suggests that they were not the most fortunate people. The wealthy characters in the novel help illustrate a take on money that is clear throughout the book. Through the actions and personalities of the wealthy characters, it is clear that money and the things that it provides are superficial, insubstantial, and inconsequential and does not help you become a better person. Money and its results are typically superficial, shallow, and false…show more content…
This is most evident in the character of Gatsby and his hunt for wealth. Gatsby had dreamed of being rich since he was young, considering his parents “shiftless and unsuccessful”(98) because they were not wealthy. “A world of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain…”(99) and he was determined to bring this extravagance to his reality. His own father notes, “’Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something’”(173). Gatsby works and works for his wealth, his whole life spent in a quest for monetary success and eventually Daisy after “he wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath”(110). And although he has these things for a small amount of time, it is important to look at the situation after Gatsby is killed. One of the most important factors of his funeral is that: “Nobody came”(174). He did not truly make any friends through his wealth, and his money is no use to him now that he is dead. Gatsby dies alone with no one to think of him and his wealth did not improve his memory at all. Nick says: “I tried to think about Gatsby then for a moment, but he was already too far away, and I could only remember, without resentment, that Daisy hadn’t sent a message or a flower”(174). Gatsby does everything he could think of to get Daisy, his quest for wealth being intertwined with his love for her, but in the end his money did not make the difference. He is still left unfulfilled, his money unable to substantiate his love for Daisy. She still went off with Tom and Gatsby is left there, his whole effort in vain. So it is clear through Gatsby’s plight, that money does not make a difference and is ultimately inconsequential in the value of one’s life. The irony in Owl-Eyes’ comment after Gatsby’s funeral, calling Gatsby “’the poor old son-of-a-bitch’”(175) illustrates this a little further. Gatsby tries all of his
Open Document