The Characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main characters Tom and Gatsby are both similar and different in their attitudes and their status. Both Tom and Gatsby have attained great wealth and live in very lavish conditions. They differ greatly, on the other hand, in the way that they acquired this wealth, and the way in which they treat other people. Even though both characters have great amounts of wealth, they are almost complete opposites due the way in which they acquired their wealth.
Tom and Gatsby are very similar in their wealth and lavishness. Gatsby spends his money on any whim, regardless of what it may cost. His parties, for example, cost him huge amounts and are held almost every weekend. Trucks must bring in the food, and the servants work all day to prepare and organize the grounds. The beverages are also brought in by the truckload, and all of the attendees drink heavily. Gatsby then hires a complete string orchestra, a jazz band, an opera singer, and various other entertainers. Most importantly, Gatsby does all of this just to get Daisy’s attention, and he has enough wealth to keep doing it every day for as long as it takes.
Gatsby’s costly personal possessions also show his ease of spending money. He buys a hydroplane just to take it out several times, not on a long journey, but for a short flight across the sound. Gatsby’s car, “was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns.”(68), clearly a very lavish and expensive automobile. La…
…ored and throws him away. In essence Gatsby’s death is inevitable, just as Tom and Daisy dispose of a city when they do not like the rumors or some of the people, so do they get rid of Gatsby when they realize that he is really not one of them, and that he cannot become one of them because he is too full of hope and life and love.
Bewley, Marius. “Scott Fitzgerald’s Criticism of America.” Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby. Ed. Ernest Lockridge. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968. 37-53.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc, 1995.
Possnock, Ross. ” ‘A New World, Material Without Being Real’: Fitzgerald’s Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby.” Critical Essays on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1984. 201-213.