Can any character in The Great Gatsby be considered materialistic or possessive?

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hebronchester90 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a sense, every character in The Great Gatsby can be considered materialistic. As the novel depicts the decline of the "American Dream," each character continues to cling to the era's decadence.

The title character, Jay Gatsby, comes from an impoverished childhood in North Dakota. His life goal is to become rich and "great," though some of his ambitions are for his love of Daisy.

Daisy is a southern debutante who embodies "old money" and aristocracy. Though is she is capable of caring, her love of money and luxury outweigh any loyalty to anything but her own comfort.

Though Nick sees Daisy as a careless brat who hides behind her money, he himself succumbs to the luxuries of materialism and loses his way, blinded by Gatsby's affluence.

Tom Buchanan, Daisy's rich husband, represents materialism without knowing what he's become. He is sexist, racist, and has no morals in regard to anything.

What F. Scott Fitzgerald delivers in The Great Gatsby is a cautionary tale of the results of a world of hedonism and materialism. The excesses of wealth and the impulses of power bring only disaster to the characters involved, as well as innocents who become collateral damage.

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The Great Gatsby

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