Language Arts III
14 December 2012
New Money vs. Old Money
In the book The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald shows how wealth affects a person’s morals and the way they view life. He shows two different situations, one being Tom the cheating husband of Gatsby’s true love Daisy and how Tom and Daisy come from old money they inherited from their families. The other side is Gatsby himself who claims he is from old money but he was just a country boy who moved to a big city who made a lot of money by bootlegging liquor and shows off his new made wealth to try to impress people with big parties and fancy cars.
The difference between old money and new money is that they inherit old money from their rich successful families and grow up with it in a rich household with everything they ever wanted. This can seriously affect the way a person views life because they never have to work for anything. People with old money back then where considered a higher class than the people who acquired their money in their lifetimes threw making good decisions because they where richer for longer. This was why Gatsby claims he inherited it from his dead family, because he would be looked up to as a more successful individual instead of just saying he got it from bootlegging. Now day’s people look up to the new money people because they worked hard to get to where they are today and people respect that and envy them. This shows the difference between now and the 1920s because of the way peoples values have changed over time.
The difference between Gatsby and Tom is just that, new and old money, Tom grew up with his money and grew up a spoiled rich kid whereas Gatsby grew up a poor kid with morals and respect and it shows threw out the story. The narrator (Nick) tells the room that “You’re worth the whole damn bunch of them put together,” when he was speaking towards Gatsby. This proves that Nick could tell he was a person with new money because he was less snobby and was a lot more respectful and was just trying to fulfill his lifelong dream of marrying the girl he loves. Nick didn’t have very strong feelings toward Gatsby in the first place but was loyal to him to the end being one of the only people to come to his funeral when all his old money friends couldn’t make it to pay their respects to the Great Gatsby. This shows how much Nick had respected him as an individual because he was from old money himself and usually old money people don’t talk to the new money people because they have less “taste” which means they haven’t had their money long enough for them to appreciate the “greater” things in a richer style of living.
Gatsby built his whole fortune on the hopes of getting back together with his girlfriend from five years ago who said he didn’t have enough money to support her wants and needs. So he built a bootlegging empire with the…