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Materialism in the Great Gatsby

Why money isn't the solution to all problems.

pretty when you cry // lana del rey lyrics

pretty when you cry // lana del rey lyrics

"All those special times I spent with you, my love
They don't mean shit compared to all your drugs
But I don't really mind, I've got drugs and that
Like my memories, I don't need that
I'll wait for you, babe, you don't come through, babe
You never do, babe, that's just what you do
Because I'm pretty when I cry
I'm pretty when I cry"
"Don't say you need me when
You're leaving, you leave again
I'm stronger than all my men
Except for you
Don't say you need me then
You live last, you're leaveing
I can't do it, I can't do it
But you do it best"
I think that this describes the relationship between Tom and Daisy very accurately. However, instead of drugs, they use people.
Materialism in The Great Gatsby - Video & Lesson Transcript |

Materialism in The Great Gatsby - Video & Lesson Transcript |

I like that this website compares The Great Gatsby and Madonna- specifically her song material girl. This song is great because it's very frank as to what girls are like in this materialistic world. Madonna is very real as to the way our society is set up - capitalism and all. It also talks about how Myrtle and Gatsby both tried to build their lives based on acquisition and possessions. Their really are a lot of parallels between the two of them. They both are having affairs with married people, they both care a lot about status and money, and they both end up dying out of desperation for the people they fell in lust with.
The Weeknd - Secrets

The Weeknd - Secrets

"Everybody here wants you
My love, my love
And I know that you want 'em too
My love, my love
I ask you what your heart desires
My love, my love
You tell me I'm the only one
My love, my love
It's a lie, a lie
I catch you every time
In your lust, your lust
Every time you close your eyes
I hear the secrets that you keep
When you're talkin' in your sleep"
I like this because it sounds like Gatsby talking to Daisy after they have started their affair. However, their relationship is pretty materialistic at this point and it's all about lust (for things and for each other).
Downtown Love

Downtown Love

"Just wonderin' if you notice me"
I think these lyrics clearly speak to the extravagant parties that Gatsby threw just to get Daisys attention. All he wanted was to catch her attention from across the bay and make her curious enough that she'd want to stop by and check it out.

"Credit cards left on your glass table
You been wildin' since I met you last April
A beautiful, outgoing, alcoholic, socialite
Like the way I talk to you, I was so polite
Always claimin' that you're not the type to notice hype
But that's the reason why we kicked it and you know it's right"
I think this quote speaks to the beginning of Daisy and Gatsbys relationship, Daisy being the most referenced. She is the beautiful, outgoing, alcoholic, socialite who flaunted her wealth (her parents wealth). He however only had his mannerisms and the fact that she couldn't tell how rich/poor he was at the time- which then gave him the ability to manipulate her into thinking he was rich.
"you're living in your own world, where love is all synthetic
Yeah, and now you walk around woefully"
Diasy truly does live in her own world where she can get away with anything. After the murders she and Tom are able to just pack up and move- protected under the shield of their money from any backlash. However, Daisy- though she chose to stay with Tom- isn't going to be happy. Inevitably he will find a new mistress to abuse and Daisy will be left more alone than ever before.
"But now you're spiraling and falling over hopelessly
And I just wonder if you notice me, yeah"
I think this speaks to the part in the book where all five of them go into town and go the hotel for ice. This is when Gatsby is pressuring Daisy to say she never loved Tom. I think this truly speaks to how Gatsby ignored the amount of stress and pain he was causing Daisy by pressuring her into saying this (and meaning it) because he was so focused on his plans. Which speaks to the lyrics "just wonderin if you notice me"
"And you're just spending your allowance cash
On some shopping sprees, drinks and a powder stash
But it drains like the sand in an hour glass
And when it does is when I see you turnin' sour fast
This again speaks to the part of the book where Daisy is filling her life with things but is left feeling empty. Specifically this can be seen in the garden scene at the beginning of the book with Daisy and Nick. She talks about giving birth and finding out that the sex of the baby was a girl and how she cried. She cried and hoped that her daughter would be a fool so that she wouldn't have to feel the pain that Daisy does with Tom always sneaking off to be with other girls.
"Nah, see you're in love with material
And even more in love with attention
Waling through life so eager for affection
And never really was a connection, nah"
This speaks to the end of The Great Gatsby when Nick is realizing how horrible of a person Daisy is and that Gatsby is getting completely played. I think this also speaks to the lack of connection that Gatsby and Daisy actually had- it was mostly just played up in Gatsbys head.
"Yeah, poor little rich girl
Cries her eyes out, it's all part of the show
Fell in love with the fast life but started it slow"
I like that it says "cries her eyes out, it's all part of the show" because I think that's so true for Daisy. She knows about Toms cheating, she gave him the gold pencil to take down numbers!
"The first time is when she kept on searching trying to find
Scared to lose it all but everything was nothing inside
Couldn't face the truth but everyone's got something to hide
It's ironic how conscious she is of how she appear
Two hours getting dressed but still can't look herself in the mirror
Making poor choices, even at her wealthiest year
Was a fast lifestyle that no one helped her to steer, year"
This again talks about Daisy and is very clear as to who she is as a person.
Best Analysis: Money and Materialism in The Great Gatsby

Best Analysis: Money and Materialism in The Great Gatsby

This article explains how money drives both the plot and the motives of many of the characters. It gives the examples from throughout the book for every character and how this applies to them. For Nick, at the beginning of the book he establishes himself as someone with a wealthy family and an Ivy League education - "I never saw this great-uncle, but I'm supposed to look like him - with special reference to the rather hard-boiled painting that hands in father's office. I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War." (Fitzgerald, 3). Because of this Tom and Daisy can see him as well off enough to be a peer to invite him to their home. Which then in turn makes him appealing to Gatsby as he can now see him as his way in. Which then leads to Daisy and Gatsbys affair- which only started after a very detailed display of his wealth in the mansion tour. However Gatsby wanted it to be like this, he wanted to prove to Daisy that he was rich enough - man enough - to be with her now. When he realized that Daisy had married to Tom after the war- instead of going and trying to talk her into divorcing him and being together he sets off to make money so as to impress her and her parents. Later when she finally agreed to run off with him he specifically brings up going back to her house in Louisville to be married. Instead though none of these things happen and Gatsby ends up dying. At his funeral hardly anyone showed up or mourned him. Those who attended his parties were only attracted by his wealth and the extravagance, they did not come for Gatsby. Nick even said "one gentleman to whom I telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved. However, that was my fault, for he was one of those who used to sneer most bitterly at Gatsby on the courage of Gatsby's liquor and I should have known better than to call him." (Fitzgerald, 170-171). This proves that everyone involved in the book, no matter how big their role, was driven by materialism.
In The Great Gatsby, what is the message on materialism? | eNotes

In The Great Gatsby, what is the message on materialism? | eNotes

"But I didn't call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn't call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone - he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward - and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock." (Fitzgerald, 21-22). The green light represents all of Gatsbys wants- money, success, acceptance, and Daisy. He centered his entire life around gaining these desires for himself and achieving these goals. However, as these goals are shallow and materialistic they left him in a continual cycle of wanting more and being unfulfilled.