The Materialism Of Society In The Great

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The Materialism Of Society In The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper The Materialism of Society in The Great Gatsby Every person has a yearning in her heart, a desire for greater happiness she needs to fill. Whether it be love, power, knowledge, or social status, every person at one time strives to fill an emptiness through material gain. Materialism is the tendency to prefer material possessions and physical comfort to spiritual values (Isaacs 924). Today s society is occupied with materialistic things. The Great Gatsby is a prime example of this. This materialism of society is shown in F. Scott Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby through the following characters: Jay Gatsby and Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Fitzgerald found the wealthy glamorous and destructive. Although he was

wealthy, Fitzgerald was never accepted. He was always on the outside looking in. His obsession for material characterized him as an author and a man (Magill Critical 966). He thought his money would make him a better person. Fitzgerald felt as if the loss of vision was as bad as the illusory quality of ideals of culture (Magill American 367). Materialism is one of the main themes in The Great Gatsby. America had produced an idealism so impalpable that it had lost touch with reality and a materialism so heavy that it was inhuman (Mizener 101). America is considered as the continent of lost innocence and illusions (Way 110). There are many misunderstandings in today s materialistic society. One can t buy integrity with money(Bruccoli 52), and young men think that riches change the

past and can recapture love (Martine 9). Both of these ideas are false. American society has a constant reliance on money for emotions and identity (Bruccoli 46). The Great Gatsby is interpreted as a warning to future generations (Magill Masterplots 2652). The warning is to not base ones life on material things, because this could lead to a downfall. Jay Gatsby is a successful bootlegger. He came from poverty and ignorance (Bryfonski 244),and has come into a new wealth, which is derived from his business. Although Gatsby achieves this success, he fails to realize how money works in society (Tate 104). He thrives on material things. He owns a huge estate, has expensive belongings, and splurges his money for show. Jay Gatsby stands for American idealism- so he loses touch with

reality (Lehan 114). He assumes that material possessions are the way to his dream,and he looks on material things to satisfy this search (Bryfonski 244). Finally, Gatsby sees that attaining an object brings a sense of loss and not fulfillment (Way 107). In the end, he is destroyed by the materials. Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan. He has loved her since he was a young man. When he is sent to fight in the war, Daisy meets Tom Buchanan and marries him. Years later, Gatsby and Daisy are reunited. By this time, Gatsby is wealthy and feels as if he is worthy of her love. He still loves her as much as the day he left and is willing to do anything to win her over. He thinks that her love can be bought (Bruccoli 51), and tries to recapture her through his material possessions

(Martine 10). Gatsby is the foolhardy idealist who cannot take the common-sense view, who refuses to accept an equivocal love (Piper 102). When Daisy leaves him at the end, he loses everything. He loses his youth, hope, and expectancy. (Lehan 108). Daisy Buchanan, is a Southern Belle from Louisville, Kentucky, and comes from a wealthy family. She is entangled in materialistic values. Her life is full of money, power, and a high social status. When she speaks, her voice is full of money (Lee 55). Daisy loves to go out to parties to dance, drink, and have fun. She is married to Tom Buchanan, but their relationship is not a model relationship. They are both unfaithful to each other, and neither of them seems to care. Daisy has a basic insincerity towards her marital situation (Piper