What do you think of the obsession with money and the consumer culture of the 1920s dominates human thinking and behaviour in The Great Gatsby?I'm in need of urgent help :( I have absolutely no...

What do you think of the obsession with money and the consumer culture of the 1920s dominates human thinking and behaviour in The Great Gatsby?

I'm in need of urgent help :( I have absolutely no idea how to answer this question.

Asked on by bueno93

2 Answers | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The first answer gives you good ideas as to how you can see that the people in the book are obsessed with money and with material goods.  But I think you were asking how to write about what you think of the fact that they are obsessed.

That is something you have to decide for yourself.  I would suggest that you think about it in the context of modern times.  Many people think that we are too worried about having money and stuff.  We want all the new gadgets -- iPads and 3D TVs and the newest phone and all kinds of stuff like that.  What do you think about that?  do you think it makes us worse as people?  Do you think it makes us value other people less?  Do we spend too much time at work so as to get money?  Should we instead be spending more time relaxing with our kids?  Should we worry more about being good people and helping others rather than about getting more money?  I would write this by thinking about those and issues like them.

Top Answer

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In The Great Gatsby, Nick goes back to the Midwest because he wants no part of the consumer culture of the East.  He sees the hypocrisy, carelessness, and cruelty of the uber-competitive socio-economic structure and refuses to be participate.

Most importantly, Nick sees the destructive power that materialism has on relationships.  Men treat women as objects.  Women treat each other as objects.  And poor men kill rich men because of jealousy over cars and houses as much as women.

All the women in the novel are flat, static, stock characters: temptresses.  They cheat at golf.  They become mistresses.  They are terrible mothers.  They call their daughters "hopeless little fools."  They cry over shirts.  They get slapped for yelling another woman's name.  In short, they are meant to be consumed, run over, pushed aside, and silenced by violence.  Why?  They are status symbols only, like the cars men drive.

We’ve answered 318,947 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question