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The Theme of Wealth in the Great Gatsby
Transcript of The Theme of Wealth in the Great Gatsby
ex) The apartment, dog, dresses
Tom would never think of marrying her because she is poor (not old money or nouveau riche)
What influence(s) does Wealth/Money have in the novel?
We will say a few words and write down the first word that comes to mind for each one.
After that is finished, share your answers with your group.
Select the best answer for each word from your group's answers and share results.
you think that wealth significantly affects marriage in the novel?
Put your Hands Up if...
You are correct. In the novel we saw that marriage was related to class. A higher class had more money and was more wealthy, which means that a rich girl or guy has to marry someone of an equal class. Daisy wouldn't consider marrying Gatsby as he was poor man. This ultimately led Daisy to marry Tom, and Gatsby to involve himself in illegal activities so he would be worthy of Daisy. Gatsby even says this when they all go to town "She never loved you... She only married you because I was poor... in her heart she never loved anyone except me" (130).
If you put your hand up...
The money makes Gatsby and Tom careless and as they feel they can do whatever they want, and the fact that they are rich will protect them from any repercussions. We see this when Gatsby gets pulled over and he just shows the officer the Christmas card from the police constable and the officer lets him go, "Taking a white card from his wallet he waved it before the man’s eyes. ‘Right you are,’ agreed the policeman, tipping his cap... ‘I was able to do the commissioner a favor once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year’" (68).
The way the characters act due to their money
The Theme of Wealth in The Great Gatsby
Tom and Daisy have both come from rich families so this is the only lifestyle they have ever known. They have horses, a huge house, "a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay " (6), a beautiful car, along with a careless way of life.
First Word: Wealth
Second Word: Happiness
Third Word: Success
The way people act
The Lifestyle that they have
The way each character searches for happiness through their wealth
Every character in the novel searches for happiness in a different way.
Nick: Nick came from a poor family so he knows that he doesn't need money to be happy. He may not be as rich as Tom or Gatsby but he is ultimately happier because he is grateful of what he has.
Each Characters Search for Happiness through their Wealth
When he met Daisy he had no money. His main reason for wanting to be rich was to get Daisy. Money was the only thing he knew that might be able to get Daisy back. He threw luxurious parties in the hope that Daisy would attend them and fall in love with him again. In the end "his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it" (180).
The Lifestyle that the Characters have
The lifestyles of characters changes depending on their wealth. For example, Gatsby lives a more extravagant lifestyle than Nick who has to work hard for the little money that he has. Gatsby is able to throw rich and extravagant parties. He also has a huge mansion, a hydroplane and a lot of cars.
Lifestyle of Tom and Daisy
As we see in the novel money does not buy happiness. Gatsby flaunts his wealth--throwing massive parties with hundreds of guests--but for all his life's extravagance, his wealth denied him the one thing that would have made him truly happy: a life with Daisy. Daisy's lust for a man's wealth takes her to what she thinks is happiness but only causes more problems for her. Her affair with Gatsby ultimately leads to his death and a small rift between herself and her husband.
Born into a rich family and was expected to marry a rich person as well. She also has a voice that is full of money, "'Her voice is full of money,’ he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it…. High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl" (120).
When Gatsby dies, the money and all that goes with it dries up, and when those friends have nothing left to gain, they clearly reveal themselves to have never been his friends at all. So money clearly failed to provide him with the things he wanted most - Daisy, acceptance, and friendship.