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The Great Gatsby: the Deception of Money

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The Great Gatsby: The Deception of Money

It is strikingly obvious that obscene amounts money does not guarantee happiness. Many people foolishly shape their lives around attaining ultimate wealth in hopes that it will bring endless happiness. This is the tragic case of the characters in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby exemplify the American dream, living what appears to be an extravagant life. Ironically, what they imagined will bring them fulfillment in life, money, has done just the opposite. Under the enchanting lights, parties, and monstrous mansions lies a deep feeling of melancholy and depression well hidden from the surface. Even though they have everything money can buy, the three primary characters in The Great Gatsby prove that, ultimately, money leaves its victims in a void of unhappiness.
Tom Buchanan lives in extreme wealth but is ultimately unhappy as he tries to fulfill the void in his life by having an affair. Tom has all the ingredients to live a fulfilling life; a family, the fancy mansion, and of course, the money. Yet he stills feels incomplete. Nick, the narrator of the story, is not surprised that Tom has “some woman in New York” and notices that “Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game” (6, 20). Tom is still seeking to fill the dismal void in his life that money fails to do. He pathetically attempts to fill this void by having the affair with Myrtle. Tom tries to create a second family through obtaining an apartment for the affair and buys a dog for Myrtle. Tom is obviously not satisfied with his rich life to feel the need to create a second one. The void money leaves creates anger in Tom which he takes off on Myrtle. When Myrtle continuously says Daisy’s name when he asks her to stop he “broke her nose with his open hand” (37). Tom is…...

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