16 May 2014
Gatsby Dinner Party
One’s morals are greatly affected by the way one’s raised and the people he or she surrounds him or herself with. Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, Al Capone, and Larry Samuel are seated at a dinner table, Al Capone and Jay Gatsby made their money by smuggling illegal alcohol into the city during Prohibition while Tom Buchanan inherited all his wealth from his family, Larry Samuel serves as the foil at this dinner party since he is not rich, providing a voice outside of the life of the rich and famous. although Gatsby seems like a probable winner of this debate, the winner is Al Capone because unlike Gatsby and his sole purpose in life to win back daisy, Capone Gave back to his community with the money he earned by opening up soup kitchens and homeless shelters, giving jobs to more than 10,000 people.
Tom Buchanan and Al Capone begin this dinner party with a heated debate over whether or not the way one makes his or her fortune can influence one’s morals. Capone begins the argument stating that Tom has never worked for anything in his life and he is where he is all because of the money he has, stating that all he does is ridiculous things such as bringing, “a string of polo ponies for lake forest” (The Great Gatsby). Capone states that Tom is defined by his family name and not what he’s achieved. Capone continues to speak and says that he started from nothing and created a name for himself after moving to Chicago to seek out new opportunities. "All I ever did was sell beer and whiskey to our best people. All I ever did was to
supply a demand that was pretty popular." (Capone). Larry Samuel enters the conversation at this point agreeing with Capone and continues to categorize Tom as a Thrillionaire. “People who live large and live life to the max. They are the highfalutin types who buy private jets, yachts, travel the world, live in mansions, etc” (Samuel).
With the amount of money Tom’s family has, he doesn't have to put in much effort to get what he wants, things are just handed to him as he needs them. This shaped Tom into the arrogant man that everyone learns to dislike. Unlike Tom, Capone did not have a wealthy family backing him. He achieved his wealth through hard work and seizing an opportunity to make money when he saw one. Tom cuts off Capone and criticizes Capone for being a criminal that should be put into jail. Tom argues that not only does Capone smuggle alcohol, he has also engaged in various other criminal activities, including bribery of government figures and prostitution. Samuel jumps in here and expresses that Capone is a kind man at heart but is forced by society to go down a different road. Capone lives in the land of snakes where money is the only motivation. Samuel continues to state that everyone around Capone has on a crooked smile and waits for a day that Capone would fall so that they can take his place. Capone appreciates
Samuel’s support for him and continues to talk about the good he has done for his community during the great depression.
Listening in on the discussion between the other three guests at the table, Gatsby poses the question; is having morals a high priority. He starts by pointing out Tom to be a morally corrupt white supremacist, "The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved."(The Great Gatsby). Capone agrees with Gatsby and states Tom’s view of white supremacy is just another addition to his already
unlikable personality. Tom cuts off Capone and argues that moral values are not a high priority for Gatsby either since he