The Great Gatsby 13 Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars (Ch. 4, pg. 77). It appears that Tom had bought Daisy s love with an expensive piece of jewelry. Upon observing Gatsby s wealth, Daisy rushed blindly into his love. Men, consciously or not, try to put a value on everything; and therefore, people like to judge love and other intangible objects with their materialistic minds. For instance, love tends to be judged by wedding gifts and jewelry, whereas happiness usually is based upon wealth. The author uses Daisy to

demonstrate how utterly common materialism is and how pathetic it can be. Several years prior to the time frame of the novel, Daisy had refused to love Gatsby on the basis that he was a poor young man, but after discovering how wealthy he had become; she immediately falls in love with Gatsby and his material possessions. Nick describes how Daisy reacts to Gatsby s wealth, With enchanting murmurs Daisy admired this aspect or that of the feudal silhouette against the sky, admired the gardens (Ch. 5, pg. 92). Daisy, forgetting about their past indifferences, falls in love with Gatsby, not knowing and not caring about what kind of person Jay Gatsby is, but about the incredible wealth of Jay Gatsby. Later in the novel, however, it is revealed that earlier, Gatsby was a poor young man;

therefore, Daisy would not and could not love him. Fitzgerald writes, But he knew that he was in Daisy s house by a colossal accident. However glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was at present a penniless young man without a past, and at ant moment the invisible cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders (Ch. 8, pg. 149). The human mind is very easy to sway. Given facts or data, one can manipulate the minds of many. This is especially true for materialistic people, since all that is needed to control a materialistic mind is wealth. Gatsby s plan throughout the years was to gain enough wealth to capture Daisy s attention and love. This love, however, is what led to the downfall of both Daisy and Gatsby. The author Fitzgerald warns that materialistic minds are

easy to alter and may lead to pain, anguish, and perhaps even death. Finally, the character of Tom Buchanan symbolizes man s tendency towards sin. Although married to Daisy, Tom is unfaithful and has an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Tom says to Nick, We re getting off, [Tom] insisted. I wanted you to meet my girl (Ch. 2, pg. 24). Fitzgerald uses Tom as the antagonist in the novel, because he gets in the way of the love between Gatsby and Daisy. Yet, Fitzgerald also uses Tom as an example of evil and sin. Men are always looking for adventure and a thrill, even if these adventures and thrills will get them into trouble. In Tom s case, having a mistress is a thrill to him, although it eventually leads to the deaths of Myrtle Wilson and Jay Gatsby. Another example that Tom symbolizes

man s tendency towards sin is that Tom s temper often has violent flares that usually have destructive results. Fitzgerald writes, Some time towards midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face, discussing whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy s name . Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke [Myrtle s] nose with his open hand (Ch. 2, pg. 37). Controlling human emotions is a very difficult thing to do. Many people often fail in doing so; therefore, they hurt others physically or emotionally. Tom is a man who finds it difficult to keep his emotions to himself so he ends up expressing those emotions, whether appropriate or not; consequently, he becomes a despised character in the novel because he is portrayed as an uncouth and vile man. The author

uses Tom to explain that it is human nature to express one s emotions, even if these emotions are dangerous. The Great Gatsby is a novel that shows man s weak willpower through its anxious efforts to be accepted by society, its love for materialistic things, and its inclination to sin, as exemplified by Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan. F. Scott Fitzgerald successfully captures the lifestyle of the 1920s in The Great Gatsby. This novel has a theme with historical significance, since life during the booming decade was one of extravagance and glamour. People were starving for money and love. Fitzgerald, who lived during this time period, observed first-hand the superficial lifestyle of the American population and was reminded that the human spirit is weak and selfish.