In the novel "The Great Gatsby", what role does spirituality play, who is being worshipped, and who is it being worshipped by?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Wealth and the privileges associated with it are worshipped in "The Great Gatsby".  Nick tells the reader in the opening paragraphs that he comes from a privileged background.  The final words of the book are about how people will continue to pursue their goals, no matter what obstacles are thrown against them (and it is hinted that the goal is usually wealth). The story tells of how James Gatz decided at an early age that he didn't want the hard-scrabble life of his parents.  He especially wanted the privileges of wealth after he met Daisy and he saw her world as explained in chapters 4 and 6.  Jay worked to get his money as quickly as possible, with no regard to legalities.  He had only one goal - to get rich enough to win back Daisy.  Myrtle is another example of the pursuit of wealth.  She tells a listener in chapter 2 that what drew her to Tom was his clothes - they were obviously the clothes of a wealthy person.  She chasitises her husband because he had to borrow the suit he wore when they were married.  She wants wealth so badly she loses sight of her better judgment and her desperation gets her killed when she runs in front of the car she thinks Tom is driving.  Jay's blind pursuit gets him killed when he doesn't take Nick's advice to get out of the area after Myrtle's death.  Jay stays because he foolishly believes that Daisy will come to him because he is rich.  He forgot about the class difference.  Jay and Myrtle both want the privileges of wealth and they are blind to any other matters.  That gets both of them killed.  A third example of people's worship of money is in the parties that Gatsby threw and the guests who attended them. They used Jay and his wealth to please themselves. They didn't know Jay at all, but they were eager to attend his parties.  Fitzgerald talks about the hordes of people who attend the parties and the huge amounts of food used up at the parties -all signs of wealth.

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