The Moral Decay
It is easy to for oneself to lose contact with morality when faced with enormous amounts of money. Not to say all of the socially inclined are morally deficient, but an image of moral decay is clearly painted in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby showing the corruption driven by an omni-present green light that is money. Both Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, men of influence-men of money are mirrored opposites of each other; possessing general similarities in which certain differences are prominent. For example, both men have money, Gatsby’s means of attaining wealth, though illegal are more justified than Tom’s. Tom acquires money from inheritance, whereas Gatsby persistently works to achieve a social rank acceptable to Daisy’s liking. Both men flaunt their money. Gatsby throws numerous amounts of parties in an attempt to attract Daisy, whereas Tom flaunts his money to impress the masses. Finally, both men share a relationship with Daisy, where Daisy is Gatsby’s number one priority, whereas Tom sets her to the side. Tom, more selfish and self centered, completely opposes Gatsby’s selfless behaviour. Although Gatsby possesses justified reasons for attaining wealth, his selflessness leads him to his end whereas Tom’s immoral actions keep him from harm.
To start, both Tom and Gatsby attain wealth. At a young age Gatsby knows he is destined to achieve a certain social status; he plans his schedule daily in order to acquire riches (Fitzgerald 165). He even changes his name to Jay Gatsby when meeting Dan Cody aboard his yacht in order to create a new image of himself (94). Even though he is focused, early on in his life, his priorities are very limited. He is blinded, only seeing a life of wealth with someone he barely knows. In contrast, Tom comes from a pedigree of rich people: “His family were enormously wealthy…” (11). He never had to lift a finger for all of his possessions. Tom is self centered and very influential, using his money to...
Cited: Fitzgerald. F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s son, 1925
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