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Carelessness in The Great Gatsby
Transcript of Carelessness in The Great Gatsby
The characters in The Great Gatsby are blinded from the realities of the world by their wealth and this causes them to act in ways that are construed as careless.
- One of the prime examples of carelessness in this novel are the huge parties that Gatsby throws
- Gatsby puts enormous amounts of money into these parties, even though he does not enjoy them one bit.
- He says himself that he is not a fan of parties and spends most of them in hiding
- He continues to have parties every so often as he believes that the glitz and glam will bring Daisy to him
- Knowing Daisy’s love for the luxurious lifestyle, Gatsby carelessly wastes away thousands of dollars just to impress Daisy
- As Gatsby is one the “nouveau-riche”, he has to show of hiss money and prove his wealth to the world
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars… On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight… Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York… At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden… In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors…”
- Since Gatsby never made an appearance at his parties, his guests began to question who he really is and where all his money came from.
- Little is known about Gatsby other than the rumor that he is a bootlegger, but no one seems to object to this
- The undisputed fact is that Gatsby’s money does come from illegal sources, yet he never seems to show fear of being caught
- He didn’t care to be caught because there was nothing to live for other than Daisy, and this shows his carelessness.
The Roaring 20's
- The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and economic change
- The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929
- This economic growth swept many Americans into a so called “consumer society”
- A business boom resulted from a government policy which favored the growth of big business
- Consolidations of business continued in the 1920's and corporations controlled most major industries, raising money through the sale of stocks and bonds
- In the book, for example, you might remember that Nick was in the bond business
“Stocks reached record peaks and Wall Street boomed in a steady golden roar."
- Consumer spending began to drive economic growth
- To facilitate spending, consumer credit was expanded and installment plans offered money upfront for families to spend
- This increased use of credit and resulted in careless spending, creating a superficial prosperity that crashed with the Stock Market in 1929.
- People of this time were period were divided into two groups- “old money” and “new money”
- The “new money” were known as the “nouveau-riche” and were self-made people who were not traditionally from wealthy families (e.g. Gatsby, Nick)
- Old money is a contrast to the nouveau-riche and these people were seen as more prestigious (Tom and Daisy represent the established old wealth)
Tom and Daisy
I Couldn't forgive him or like him, but i saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made
-Being Careless is to be free from anxiety, to not pay attention to what one does
- Money blinds ones reality
- money.... Carelessness
- One of the characters that is seen as careless is Tom.
- Tom is a careless person because he is insensitive and thoughtless
- Tom physically abuses Myrtle Wilson by striking her in the face and leads her to believe he would marry her if his wife weren't Catholic
- He misleads George Wilson by implying that Myrtle was Gatsby's mistress and that Gatsby was responsible for her death, and because of this George kills Gatsby
- Tom keeps his way of life alive through moral carelessness
- After his meeting with Tom, Nick describes Tom as a careless person who "retreats back to his money... and let's other people clean up the mess (he) had made" (pg.179)
- Tom believes that he should be on top of society because of his wealth and power
- Maintaining his powerful position requires putting down and hurting the people around him
- By living this way, Tom “reduces many people to ashes”
- Tom’s wealth and luxurious lifestyle blinds him from the real world and leads him to believe that he has the privilege of living in the world without consequences.
- Uses her money to excuse herself from reality
- Believes money will solve her problems
- violent death of Myrtle
- Gatsby's love
-A professional golfer of questionable integrity
- Cheated in golf to get her way
- Careless driver, not aware when she drives
" I am careful"
" No you are not"
"Well other people are," she said lightly
"Whats that got to do with it?"
"They will keep out of my way," she insisted "it takes two to make an accident"
"suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself" I hope i never will" she answered. "i hate careless people. Thats why i like you. (Ch. 3, 59)
"You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well i met another bad driver, Didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess" (Ch.5, 89
- Superior to everyone around them
- Ultimately don' t have to face reality
" In a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she has asserted her membership in a rather distinguieshed secret society to which she and Tom belonged" Ch. 1,20)
"Daisy stepped on it, I tried to make her stop but she couldn't
"Home Page — Statistics Canada." Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2015.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Economy in The 1920s." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 May 2015.
SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 22 May 2015.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.