"[Her voice is] full of money." Trace some of the ways in which the narrative suggests that money is thematically important in the Great Gatsby?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is difficult to thematically analyze the work without money being part of this equation.  The division between East and West Egg is done so on the basis of class, of "old money" versus "new money."  Jay and Nick live in West Egg, while Tom and Daisy represent East Egg.  This helps to explain how the issue of class plays into much of everything in the interactions of the novel.  The only form of morality in the high flying social set would be based off of wealth and elitist expressions of class.  Additionally, Gatsby's pursuit of the American Dream is one steeped in economics.  There is little in the way of pure morals or ethical conduct which exists outside of the domain of economics and class based ideology.  The fact that the social trappings of Tom, Daisy, and Jordan are rooted in economics, Fitzgerald is making it clear that one of the faults of this setting, and "the Jazz Age" in general, is the idea that individuals who seek social acceptance do so on the premise of wealth and privilege.  This foundation is weak and tenuous, shallow and insincere.

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The Great Gatsby

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