Jay Gatsby And The Emptiness Of Wealth
People who amass great fortunes quickly often have a mysterious side to them. Jay Gatsby’s past is that of mystery and reinventing one’s identity; this ambiguity makes Jay a very popular character among the rich residents of the bay and shows the emptiness of wealth.
Gatsby flaunts his wealth in such a manner that it would be impossible to ignore the absolute luxury that he parades around. Gatsby uses these parties to draw in the people who he is courting for future relationships, such as Nick who he invites out of the blue. Nick, before receiving an invitation to the party, has shown no particular interest in these parties, but, like most of the other guests, he is drawn to this mysterious personality, who seems paradoxically involved and wanting to escape the lavishness. Gatsby is able to use this curiosity and his charms to help achieve his goal of rekindling his relationship with Daisy; this relationship that is attempted to be had is a stand-in for Gatsby: seemingly powerful and representative of the good times to come, but in reality is nothing more than a facade, inevitably falling after it is realized that it has no depth behind it. Gatsby is also able to manipulate Daisy into almost leaving her husband. Gatsby is shown to be fully devoted to his dreams of a life with Daisy, that he wants to strip her away from the life she knows, solely because he wants to live an idealized life with her. Gatsby blindly forces himself to believe, egotistically, because he has money, it suddenly fixes all of his problems, even the ones that can never truly be fixed, such as his personality. This unjust coveting presents Gatsby with nothing but pain and suffering; this consequence is never fully lived down as Gatsby’s unrealistic dreams stick with him until the end.
Gatsby’s whole motivation in his life was to accumulate enough money and prestige to impress Daisy, thus completing him as a person. Money is presented as a negative aspect of life because of all inherent draw of money, which encapsulates Gatsby to the point that he is willing to become a part of organized crime to obtain more. This life of organized crime is projected as a powerful and a desirable one, despite the dangers of it; this divide is representative to the problems associated with money, as someone is always going to have greater ambition than leading to your eventual downfall. This money that has been received is just like Gatsby: initially out to create goodness and happiness within the world, but devolves into nothing more than a hollow shell of what it used to be, just a tool to be used by others in order to achieve their goals. Gatsby is also shown to be somewhat naive as he dreams that he could achieve his goals once again. This naivety represents the great danger of what money can do to you as the idealistic and foolish idea that money can bring you everything, including the past, leaves Gatsby as nothing more than an ideal, something to be looked up to, but not something to be emulated. Gatsby is hugely bullied by people who have had their wealth for longer periods of time leading to him not understanding the whole picture of what he is getting himself into, just like any character who develops a close relationship with him.
To conclude, Gatsby’s life is shown to a life that should be avoided, rather than be coveted. Gatsby is used almost as a moral by Fitzgerald as he presents the reader with an insight into a life that is not what is all made out to be, but rather one that is entered into carefully.