Great Gatsby Essay

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 7 (2435 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Ladan Abdullahi
Ms. Bhela             
28 January 2012
Materialism in The Great Gatsby
Every writer has an inspiration, whether they get inspired from their personal lives or the lives of others, nonetheless they get inspired. Inspiration is what causes others to write, it is the fundamental reasoning behind writing. F. Scott Fitzgerald is no exception. The Great Gatsby is a classic American Novel that focuses on timeless themes such as ambition, greed and finally love. F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by various factors in his lifetime that led him to write The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s personal experiences and the time period in which he lived influenced him to write The Great Gatsby in which he communicated the universal truth that money can not bring happiness.  Money is the main aspect of social acceptance and economic success throughout The Great Gatsby. All the characters are eager to obtain with wealth in hopes of ultimately reaching a satisfactory state of being. However, the attempt to achieve contentment in life through money proves to be impossible. The desire for money is the basis of all problems the characters encounter. From the evident distinction of the classes, to the extreme satisfaction of material possessions, the materialistic nature that all the characters possess becomes blatantly obvious. The characters in the novel, the Great Gatsby, are too fixed on material things, thus losing sight of what is really important. The characters in The Great Gatsby take a materialistic attitude that causes them to fall into a downward spiral of empty hope and zealous obsession. The Great Gatsby is about a man named Nick Carraway who meets and becomes fascinated with a Midwesterner named Jay Gatsby. Jay Gatsby falls in love with Nick’s cousin Daisy, but is rejected by her. Unable to move past Daisy's rejection, Jay Gatsby devotes his life to changing the past and winning her love, although she is already married. Though he requires wealth and status, and all the things Daisy is looking for she is already taken and events are already set in motion that lead to Gatsby’s lonely unfulfilled, demise. The author, F Scott Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby to show how the materialistic attitude of the 1920’s leads many people to hopeless depression. Jay Gatsby, a man who spends his entire adult life attempting to raise his social and economic status, only to show  how the materialistic attitude  can lead to one’s catastrophic downfall.

F. Scott Fitzgerald lived during the 1920’s, the start of a materialistic era in which money and social status meant everything. F. Scott Fitzgerald fell in love with a wealthy woman, therefore, he felt as if he could not provide for his significant other. As a result, F. Scott Fitzgerald attempted to acquire wealth at a rapid rate, “In July 1918, while he was stationed near Montgomery, Ala., he met Zelda Sayre, the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. They fell deeply in love, and, as soon as he could, Fitzgerald headed for New York determined to achieve instant success and to marry Zelda. What he achieved was an advertising job at $90 a month. “(“F. Scott Fitzgerald”, par 1). F. Scott Fitzgerald felt as though by requiring wealth and status, he will be good enough for Zelda. He firmly believed that money and respect are the only aspects one can have in order to achieve happiness. Like many other people during his time, F Scott Fitzgerald believed that moving up the social and economic ladder could bring a sense of fulfillment.  The desire for money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life  were among the influences that led him to write The Great Gatsby in which he communicated the universal truth that money can not bring happiness. The time period in which The Great Gatsby was written was a materialistic and superficial era. The culture and attitude of the 1920’s is evident in The Great Gatsby. The 1920’s was a time of bootlegging and parties. An economic boom was taking...

Cited: Bryant, Mangum, "The Great Gatsby," Encyclopedia of the Novel, ed. Paul Schellinger, London
and Chicago: Fitzroy-Dearborn, 1998
"F. Scott Fitzgerald". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia
Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2013 <>.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 1925.
Merriman, C.D. “F. Scott Fitzgerald” 2004.>.
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