Wealth Corrupts - an Analysis of the Great Gatsby

Topics: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arnold Rothstein Pages: 2 (700 words) Published: October 23, 2012
As Henry Fielding once said, "Money is the fruit of evil, as often as the root of it." (Henry Fielding). This is entirely true in the novel The Great Gatsby, where money is the leading factor in all that happens during the course of the story. The novel, The Great Gatsby, a very profound work of literature, extends on many levels and through various themes in order to provide readers with the central idea that wealth corrupts.

Daisy Buchanan is the first character in the novel that has evidently been corrupted by wealth. Daisy, born and raised into an enormously wealthy family, never had to work for anything in life; anything she wanted was immediately given to her. Later in life she married Tom Buchanan --also extravagantly wealthy -- who "gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars" (76). This life of wealth inevitably led to a life of boredom for Daisy. Her life was so boring, in fact, that she audibly wonders "What'll [she] do with [herself] this afternoon… and the day after that, and [for] the next thirty years" (118). The feelings and the lives of others hold no influence over Daisy. Even her own daughter, Pammy, holds no meaning for her. She views her daughter as a mere toy, an object to show off to help boost her own image. When she hit and killed Myrtle Wilson, and when Gatsby died, she did show any emotion towards either of their deaths. Daisy, best illustrated as a careless person, "smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into [her] money [and her] vast carelessness" and "let other people clean up the mess [she] had made" (145). Daisy only cared about protecting herself, as people in her position are wont to do.

Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, has also been corrupted by the wealth maintained in his family. He is never content with what he has, and as a result of this he has numerous affairs; of course he gives no thought as to how Daisy might feel about this. During the timeline of...
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