Sunday, June 6, 2010

Old Money V. New Money

In the novel The Great Gatsby, there is a role of new money and old money, not a new form of currency, but those who are new to wealth, and those who have had it in their families for a long time. Both are in the same class of wealth, but new money and old money spend their wealth differently, and have different maturities while handling their money.

The newly rich, or the new money, like Jay Gatsby, live in West Egg. "Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste."( Gatsby is a perfect example of this. Gatsby tries to be all flashy and impressive with his money, which is very irresponsible and unwise. He drives a fancy car, a Rolls-Royce, has a monstrous mansion bu himself, and throws parties non-stop to impress people, and to try to lour Daisy back to him. He uses the newly wealth he has to do this, which he obtained from a life of crime, in the bootlegging business.

The old money, people of East Egg, aren't as irresponsible with their wealth, and know how to handle what they have. "What the old aristocracy possesses in taste, however, it seems to lack in heart, as the East Eggers prove themselves careless, inconsiderate bullies who are so used to money’s ability to ease their minds that they never worry about hurting others"( Daisy and Tom Buchanan are a perfect example of this selfishness. They both will simply move on, and leave the messes that they made for somebody else to clean up. They're both never satisfied, and cheat on one another. These East Eggers are no better than the irresponsible new money from West Egg.

In conclusion, new money is less responsible, but despite that quality, people like Gatsby are caring and have a big heart, and actually do give a damn about other people. The old money knows how to handle their money, but being so used to that wealth are extremely selfish, and come off to be worse people, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unrequited Love

Unrequited love is a kind of love that can't be reciprocated or returned, even though it's usually desired. In the novel, one of the major characters, Jay Gatsby, has this sort of romance towards his old flame, Daisy Buchanan. When he went off to war, even though Daisy promised to wait for him, she couldn't and married Tom. Gatsby was poor and Daisy wanted more, desperate for affection. When Gatsby returned home, he did whatever he could to win Daisy's heart back and earned money and riches. Nick, Gatsby's neighbor, did the favor of reuniting him with Daisy but after all the time they spent together at his mansion, he still wanted more from her. He expected her to tell Tom that she has never loved him, and leave him, but she couldn't. She loved Tom and she'd be lying if she said she didn't. Daisy couldn't give the love that Gatsby expected from her.

Another example of an unrequited love in the text includes the relationship between Myrtle and Tom, which, in some ways, can relate to the one that Gatsby and Daisy share. Myrtle is married to poor man, George Wilson, and lives in the valley of ashes. She doesn't have much since they struggle with business, and yearns for more. She's not satisfied or content with what she has which brought her to a rich guy like Tom. With the kind of money that he has, he's able to provide her with the kind of "love" that she's been wanting and waiting for, but Daisy seems to get in the way between them. Even though Tom is cheating on Daisy, he still has much love for her, which holds him back from giving all of his love to Myrtle.

The love that Jay shares with Daisy and that Myrtle has with Tom is unrequited because the love is not returned, or at least, not enough love. Even though Daisy spends a lot of her time with Gatsby, he expects so much more from her, more than she can give because of her love for Tom. Myrtle is the same way around Tom, even though she has a husband of her own. Because of this unrequited love, Jay and Myrtle are overpowered by jealousy and selfishness.

sources: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

East Egg Vs. West Egg

In the Great Gatsby, there are two cities, East Egg and West Egg, which are separated by the Valley of Ashes. What city you live in between the two, shows if you are from a wealthy family (East Egg) or if you are new to wealth (West Egg).

People in East Egg come from families that always had money. They're more snobby, greedy, and mean than people from West Egg, as those from East Egg are generally less-sophisticated, and a more innocent type of people, as they haven't been consumed by material possessions, money, and greed their whole lives. The Buchanans, for example, are a family of East Egg, which Tom Buchanan was born of a wealthy family, and the greedy Daisy, who married into this money. They have a very large mansion for a home, and are a somewhat of a stuck up family. East Egg is portrayed as corrupt in the novel, and and is moral-less, compared to the more humble West Egg.

According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the West Egg is "less fashionable" with "wide lawns and friendly trees." Most of the people that live in the West Egg have morals and ethics to live by, rather than their own money, such as Nick Carraway. After Nick does Gatsby the favor of reuniting him with Daisy, he offers Nick the chance to take part in Gatsby's business and earn more money. Even though Nick struggles to sell bonds, he politely declines, realizing that Gatsby was only returning the favor. This shows that Nick has dignity, and doesn't live off the image portrayed by how much money he has or makes.

Sources: The Great Gatsby