Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gatsby Essay

Submitted By packers79
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The Great Gatsby Essay The Great Gatsby is a novel of pure early 1900’s literature. It directly explains the roaring twenties and how America was changing during that time. This novel exemplifies all of that change through F. Scott Fitzgerald’s point of view whether through Gatsby’s parties or the characters in the book. The Great Gatsby also shows the underling struggles of American people and shines a light on the American dream during that time. The prompt I have chosen is a direct comparison between Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, two very different men but very similar ambitions.
Jay Gatsby
Wealth: Jay Gatsby’s wealth status differs greatly from Tom because Jay’s wealth is new and recent and is brought up through illegal means which makes Jay vulnerable to social class issues with Tom and is also an underlying cause to how Daisy feels about Gatsby. “I lived at West Egg, the well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them”(Fitzgerald 5). This excerpt shows how the new money of America lived on the West Egg, like Gatsby, and the old money of America passed over many generations inhabited the East Egg, where Tom and Daisy lived.
Morals: Mr. Gatsby believes in the simple idea that one must do whatever it takes to obtain a dream, in his case he finds it necessary to go to great lengths to win Daisy from Tom even through illegal means. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us, it eluded us then, but that’s no matter-to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms faster”(Fitzgerald 180). Gatsby’s morals also were played out through using a fake name, lying about his family, and living an illegal life of bootlegging which in the end got him killed.
Goals: Jay Gatsby has one goal above anything else that is to obtain Daisy back from Tom. “She never loved you, do you hear/, he cried, she only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me, it was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!”(Fitzgerald 130). Gatsby finally arrives at the moment he has been waiting five years for in the excerpt above.
Power: “Who is this Gatsby anyhow? Demanded Tom, some big bootlegger? Where you hear that? I implied, I didn’t hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know” (Fitzgerald 107). Tom’s assumptions are correct, Gatsby is a bootlegger and that make his chances of winning Daisy very slim because of his present social power. His social power is nothing compared to Toms in the end.
Tom Buchanan
Wealth: Toms wealth is inherited over many generations as he was born into it, this puts him up in the category of social power which ultimately never gave Gatsby a shot of winning Daisy at all. This passage also shows Toms immense wealth and how he used it. “His family were enormously wealthy, even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach, why they came East I don’t know, They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together”(Fitzgerald 6).
Morals: Tom is a very racist person when it comes down to it, his morals are simply just as bad as or even worse than Gatsby’s for many reason. He exemplifies a racist mindset towards everyone and he also cheats on Daisy which makes him a very unpleasant person but in the twenties this mindset and personality wasn’t necessarily frowned upon because of the heavy racism still present in America at that time. “Civilizations going