The Roaring Twenties was a moment of change and opportunities for any individual to pave a path and become somebody entirely anew. It was during this time where morals and principles were more heavily preached than they were practiced. Thus, the cruelty of the corrupt actions taken during this time created prospects for lessons to be learned. In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald develops several themes through the use of characterization, symbolism, and setting. He suggests that money is the root of all evil and exposes the corruption and evil money brings out in each individual being and the means they well go through in order to achieve their own sense of fortune and fame.
Throughout the course of the novel, a character’s personality and qualities change in respect the amount of money they possess. When Gatsby is blamed entirely for murdering Myrtle cold bloodedly, Daisy and Tom refuses to have anything to do with him. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then they retreated back into their money…and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald 179). It was because of their wealth that gave them the ability to trample over people. Daisy never had any intentions of being together with Gatsby. She was well aware that what Gatsby could give her could not compare with what Tom could provide her for. She is a material girl that lives off her social status and wealth, which causes her to abandon all sense of morality. During one of Gatsby’s parties, Nick overhears a woman named Lucille talking about a new dress that Gatsby had bought her. “I never care what I do, so I always have a great time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address—inside of a weak I got a package from Croirier’s with a new evening gown in it…It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars” (43). Lucille does not care so much for the way the dress looks but more on how much it cost. In her situation, those well-mannered would respectfully thank the host for his chivalrous deed of buying her a new dress. Instead, she flaunts her wealth and the price of the dress around her peers showing how much carelessness she obtained upon becoming wealthy. Meyer Wolfshiem is a mobster who is a major victim in the corruption of wealth. Because of his lust for fame and fortune, he abides by no law and will go through any means for his own self-interest. “Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he is a gambler. He’s the man who fixed the World Series in 1919” (73). He involved himself with Gatsby’s life because he wanted to use his physical appearance to gain connections with the upper-class and nothing else. He did not care one bit for Gatsby and showed no sympathy upon Gatsby’s death. His emotions lack any love or care due to the corruption that he willingly allowed himself to be overtaken by to achieve wealth and fortune.
Fitzgerald uses several objects throughout the novel as symbolisms that cite specific instances in which Jay Gatsby had manifested the love of money as the only way to attain his sole desire: Daisy. When Gatsby brought Daisy to his closet, he made sure to show Daisy what material objects he obtained through the use of his wealth. “He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in a many-colored array” (92). “We went upstairs, through period bedrooms, swathed in rose and lavender silk with vivid new flowers, through dressing-rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms, with sunken bath” (91). Both vivid descriptions reveal the amount of importance in personal value that Gatsby places on his possessions. He has determined that his only way to marry Daisy would be through materialistic impressions and makes it his life goal to lead such a life that would give him what he