Using the theme materialism, how is it shown throughout The Great Gatsby and how can it be related to modern day society?I am doing a power point presentation showing how materialism related to...

Using the theme materialism, how is it shown throughout The Great Gatsby and how can it be related to modern day society?

I am doing a power point presentation showing how materialism related to modern day, examples: music, shows, etc...

Asked on by invu

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You can see materialism all over the place in this book.  One really clear example is in how Daisy will not marry Gatsby because he is not rich enough for her.  Then, when she finds out he is rich, she is all happy (think about her crying over his shirts).  You can see materialism, in my opinion, in how Gatsby has all those books for show and they aren't even able to open.  He just wants to put on the material show expected of a rich person (his parties show that too).

I would think about all the shows that have people showing off their houses.  And it seems like a lot of rap music is about material stuff -- how much money, what kind of rims, what kind of expensive liquor, etc.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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That material acquisitions are of paramount importance to Jay Gatsby is evident in the scene in which Jay Gatsby stands outside of his house under the stars as though he wishes the universe to approve as he stares longingly at the green light on the end of Daisy's pier.

When Jay Gatsby and Nick go for a ride in his Rolls Royce, that great symbol of material success, the car assumes mythological proportions.  The fenders are like wings, and the interior is golden. Gatsby's house is often compared to that of a feudal lord in which luxuries are on display; with its antiques, and leather-bound books there is the suggestions of a nostalgia for the life of the British aristocracy.  Fitzgerald seems to suggest that the wealthy of he era imitated in a superficial manner the old European social system that they had left behind.

Today, many of the same things are measures of success and importance:  luxurious cars, elaborate homes, designer clothes, knowing the right people, etc.

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