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Corrutptive effects of wealth in The Great Gatsby

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Matthew Spina

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Corrutptive effects of wealth in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Corruptive effects of wealth in The Great Gatsby
By: Matthew Spina, Anthony Gambino, Marc Gallo, Francesco Tassone
Illegal actions
Gatsby wanted to become wealthy so that he can get Daisy from Tom because she was forced to marry Tom. "I found out what your drug stores were...bought up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter..." (Fitzgerald 133). Tom says this to Daisy, Jordan and Nick when he is getting mad at Gatsby in the hotel room in New York. Tom was trying to expose Gatsby and tell them about the illegal things that Gatsby did. "Buchanan attempts to appear morally upright in a negative sense, by trying to unmask Gatsby's activities as a bootlegger". (Lena). Tom looks ironic at this point because even though he hits myrtle and no one knows, he tries to persuade Daisy that Gatsby is a bad person.
Carelessness
When you put wealth and carelessness together, they can cause corruptive actions or affects. When someone is wealthy, they tend to not really care about the actions they perform. This can range from being reckless with how they spend there money to damage of property. Throughout the novel, we see multiple car crashes which symbolize the carelessness wealthy people had. In today's society, everyone is cautious on the road and don't want to get anyone hurt. "It was on that same house party that we had a curious conversation about driving a car. It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on ones mans coat.." (Fitzgerald 58). Nick narrates as him and Jordan are driving from Gatsby's house party. "Carelessness plus Cars equals chaos.." (Seiters). This just goes to show how reckless people were in the Roaring Twenties and that they didn't care about the outcome or injuries that might occur from it.
In the novel "The Great Gatsby" wealth does have corruptive effects because it causes the characters to commit illegal actions, causes the characters to be more superior, and the carelessness of some of the characters.
Corruptive affects of wealth and its connection to The Great Gatsby
Media Component
The media component that we chose to use was a clip from the film The Wolf of Wall street. This clip shows how wealth has corruptive effects on people. In the video Jordan Belford is explaining how much drugs he consumes a day and the only reason that he is able to is because he has the money to pay for it. This is a corruptive effect due to wealth because if he wasn’t very well off then he wouldn’t prioritize spending unnecessary money on drugs when he would have other expenses to deal with. Since he has the money he is able to buy all the drugs he wants but at the same time still have enough money to worry about all the other expenses. In addition another example of corruption due to money is the fact that doing drugs is illegal. Money can make you feel above everything including the law therefore Jordan Belford does not care that he is doing illegal drugs. Just like Gatsby has lots of money he does things illegal like bootlegging because he may feel powerful as well due to his wealth.
Characters feeling more superior/ of a higher class

Work Cited
- Lena, Alberto. "Deceitful Traces of Power: An Analysis of the Decadence of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby." Canadian Review of American Studies 28, no. 1 (1998): 19–41. Quoted as "Deceitful Traces of Power: An Analysis of the Decadence of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby" in Bloom, Harold, ed. The Great Gatsby, New Edition, Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2010. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 16 Oct. 2014

- Seiters, Dan. Image Patterns in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald: 58–60. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research P, 1986. Quoted as "On Imagery and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby." in Bloom, Harold, ed. The Great Gatsby, Bloom's Guides. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2006. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 16 Oct. 2014

- https://soundcloud.com/marxmenclipz/clv1-clipz-ft-keelow-roney-yh








The idea of people feeling superior to others or ‘of a higher class’ was an idea that was noticed through the novel. Many times there were conflicts or relationships that were broken all due to the cause of people wanting to be of a higher class. Tom and Daisy was a couple whose lives completely revolved around social status. It was said, “Tom embodies the decadence of the upper classes.” This means that Tom throughout the novel was shown to display forms of carelessness, especially with his money. Also, he was in constant need of excessive luxuries and pleasures that only people of a higher class were granted. Along with this Tom thought that he was above everyone especially Gatsby due to his wealth. He strongly disliked Gatsby because Gatsby came from new money, and lived a poor childhood which Tom despised. Since Gatsby did not have one distinct job that was mentioned, Tom often referred to Gatsby as “Just some bootlegger” to persuade Daisy into thinking that Gatsby was worthless because he did not have the same status as he. This again reveals the theme of social status causing problems. Daisy and Gatsby had a secret love for each other, which carried on for many years. After finally re-uniting, Gatsby decided to take advantage of this opportunity and asked Daisy to stay with him for the rest of his life. Shockingly, Daisy refuses to go with Gatsby, but later on in this conversation it is discovered that she does not want to stay with Gatsby because he does not carry the same social status as Tom. This shows how Daisy is very shallow and really only cares about wealth and status. Tom always needing excessive pleasures has also been something that was visible. Tom would visit Myrtle every so often to get his “fix” of pleasure. Myrtle fearlessly decided to test Tom by saying “’Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai-‘ Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (Fitzgerald 37). Notice how Tom hits Myrtle, a person of a lower class, but never hit Daisy a person of the same class as himself. This shows how Tom is having an affair with Myrtle for pleasure and for the feeling of dominance over someone of the lower class. Furthermore, one can begin to see that one of the major corruptive effects that wealth comes with is the whole idea of superiority and social status.
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