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Money and Happiness in The Great Gatsby Essay


Money Doesnt Buy Happiness,

But Love Doesnt Pay the Bills

Money doesnt buy happiness, it can only buy you things that temporarily make you happy- Unknown. This quote is expressed throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald countless times. Daisy Buchanan, Jack Gatsby and Tom Buchanan are just three of the many examples that prove evidence in this quote to be true. Happiness is very delicate; you have to make sure you take good care of it because it can be gone in the blink of an eye. The characters of The Great Gatsby each had to learn this lesson the hard way, through personal experience. Happiness cannot be bought nor sold; it cannot be given as a gift nor found in a bottle on the beach. In no way at no time under no circumstances can money buy happiness, if so everyone one would have done it hundreds of years ago.

Daisy was a rich girl all her life. As a young child she was taught that to be happy you must marry a rich man. Her family forbid her to marry a poor man because poor was associated with dirty and was a lower class then her. Therefore other classes were not to look at each other never mind marry! When she met Gatsby she fell in love. Although she knew it was against her familys wishes she promised Gatsby she would wait until he was back from the war and was rich then they were to get married. But Gatsby was gone for quite some time and in that time the ravishing and awfully rich Tom Buchanan swooped into her life. He swept her off her feet and without blinking they were married. They werent married too long before the return of Gatsby. He was back and determined to win her back. Although Daisy was now rich and married to a handsome man she still wasnt happy. She would keep herself busy with friends coming to visit and going to golf or polo matches. she got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth(p.122)This quote shows that Daisy is not happy enough with Tom. Deep down Daisy knew that happiness and love had to come before the riches.

Gatsby on the other hand was born a poor man. He had the hard life between the war, no family and under-the-table business, nothing came easy to him. His parents were unsuccessful farm people-his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents anyways (p.95). From a young age Gatsby had dreamed of being rich because he believed that happiness and riches came hand in hand, but this proved to be false later in his life. After he meet Daisy and was forced to leave her, his inspiration for riches just grew stronger. He began to do everything and anything to make money. Some of his riches were inherited but his uncle who was the king of Germany while other was made from an illegal under-the-table business. After he became rich he purchased the mansion across the water and spent countless nights watching the green light at the end of Daisys dock flicker on and off. Gatsby had countless extravagant parties in hopes that Daisy would show up and they would fall into love again. After Nick moved next door he coughed up the guts to have an afternoon tea with Nick and Daisy since they were cousins. Gatsby struggled to win Daisy back especially since he thought she would come right out and tell him that she never loved Tom, but that would almost be too good. Instead she kept him guessing and waiting and eventually she told him that she had always wanted Gatsby. This confession was soon useless since weeks later Wilson shot and killed Gatsby.

Tom Buchanan often found himself in the midst of things. He was never a man to take the blame but rather say that his actions were just reactions of unfortunate events that others caused. Even though he too, along with Daisy, was not loyal to his partner, he never once admitted he was wrong. He would proceed to lollygag with Myrtle and come home to accuse Daisy of her unloyal actions towards him. A man with that much fortitude cannot be happy with whom he is or he would not be accusing anyone of anything.and as we drove away Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate were slipping precipitately from his control.(p.119) Tom knows that Daisy only married him for his money and although she has developed feelings for him, he fears that if he leaves her for Myrtle she will turn to Gatsby. Tom may in fact feel threaten by how Gatsby has such an extravagant house and parties. Tom has been rich all his life and it isnt until Gatsby shows up does he realize that he might lose Daisy. Because of this Tom tells Myrtle that he and Daisy cannot get a divorce because she is a Christian. It is evident that he is not happy being married to Daisy because he has an affair with Myrtle. This is another example of how money does not necessarily buy happiness. It is ironic that Daisy kills Myrtle because although she didnt mean to kill her she might have been jealous that she is everything that Daisy is not to Tom. Therefore she feels a need to get Myrtle out of the picture.

The pursuit of happiness can be a long and hard process; it may take 3 hours or 50 years. But no matter how long it takes happiness is definitely the most valuable thing of life. The infamous love triangle of Tom, Daisy and Gatsby fall into continuous events of depression, guilt and jealousy. The dynamic trio, learn that it doesnt matter how much money you have in the bank or how many diamonds you have in your closet. What matters is that at the end of the day, you have someone to love you and someone who you can love back. Without love you cannot possibly be truly happy. Happiness and love live side by side like two peas in a pod they were lost in a sea of hopelessness without each other.

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