In The Great Gatsby, how are the differences between new money and old money shown?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The perception of Gatsby is one way in which the difference between old and new money is shown.  The folks of old money, such as Tom and Daisy and Jordan, are going to consistently use Gatsby as the host of elegant and elaborate parties in order to give him some level of acceptance.  However, the acceptance given is one that is predicated upon him being conscious of his place.  The forces of old money will never be able to fully embrace him because of his status as new money.  For his part, Gatsby understands this and covets only this acceptance.  It is in this light that he pursues Daisy and envisions himself in the manner he does.  Gatsby's dreams revolve around the idea of being considered, at some point, part of the accepted old money clique.  This motivation or desire is something that is fruitless, yet is something that does not deter Gatsby.