Most people seem to agree that money doesn’t buy happiness. I disagree. I can accept that I am materialist. People criticize this trait about people. I look at it from another perspective. People everywhere regarding color, religion or nationality are materialist whether they accept it or not. Of course there are different levels but the bottom line is we as humans are attracted to material things.
We study so we can get a job, we get a job so we can get money and we earn money so we can buy what we want. F. Scott Fitzgerald shows materialistic behavior in the book “The Great Gatsby”in many different ways. One of the main ideas of the book is to demonstrate these materialistic behaviors. One example is the reason Daisy married Tom when she loved Gatsby.
Gatsby was poor at the time and Daisy wanted someone that could pay for the type of life she wanted. Gatsby knew this and waited until he had money to appear again in Daisy’s life. Gatsby exclaimed, “She never loved you, do you hear? She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me” (130). Gatsby knew that if he can’t support her she will choose Tom without hesitation.
Daisy can be seen as one of the most materialistic characters in the book. She took the expensive pearls that Tom gifted her and said “Take ’em downstairs and give ’em back to whoever they belonged to. Tell’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say Daisy’s change her mine. ” This shows Daisy is unhappy because she was not marrying the guy she loved. She chose money over her happiness. After 5 years Gatsby came back to Daisy’s life. Only this time he had money and cars and a huge house on the water. This attracted Daisy of course and she had her an affair with him.
Although it may seem as if Daisy and others use Gatsby for his money, it goes both ways. Gatsby fights with Tom over Daisy as if she is nothing more than a prize he wants to win. Some may see Gatsby being used for his parties but I think Gatsby is using his parties to win over friends and hopefully, in the end Daisy.
When Gatsby and Daisy meet for tea at Nick’s house, Gatsby was more worried about showing off what he has accomplished in the five years they were apart instead of talking and catching up. When he got reunited with her he became very nervous. He did not know what to talk about and he told Nick, “This is a terrible mistake, terrible terrible mistake”.
He showed off everything he had, his house, his car, his suits just to impress her “My house looks well, doesn’t it? See how the whole front of it catches the light. It took me just three years to earn the money that bought it.” Even though he obtained money Daisy decided not to bolt. All that he accomplished was just for the sole purpose of being good enough for Daisy.
Gatsby is a single man who lives alone. He has this huge mansion which is surely much bigger than he needs it to be. He has all these books that he has bought to make his house look classy that he hasn’t even read. He has his clothes sent over from England. He owns multiple cars when he can only drive one. All of these are examples of materialism because they show Gatsby owning material things to impress other people.