Influences of Wealth in The Great Gatsby

Topic: EducationMiddle School
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Last updated: April 24, 2019

Influencing factors as to why one would stay in a corrupt marriage differ as eras change.

In the widely acclaimed novel, “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald created two characters, Daisy and Tom, to revolve around the covert subject. Fitzgerald demonstrates marital corruption by having Daisy stay with Tom despite his adultery, showing the effects of social customs of the 1920s, how wealth allows behavior, and the importance of social status.

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There are strong social customs found in the 1920s that are displayed in Daisy and Tom’s relationship when Daisy is reluctant to leave her husband, despite being well aware of his cheating ways. To begin, during this era women are nothing more than trophy wives to their husbands. If a man wrongs his wife in any way, she is both expected and obliged to stay with him, because of the deep-rooted sexism of the 1920s. Similar to “A Doll’s House,” women are merely objects to the men in their lives, and unlike Nora who leaves her husband in the novel, Daisy cannot find it in herself to leave her unfaithful husband.

Although, even if Daisy is more compelling with wanting to leave Tom, he could never allow the humiliation of having his wife leave him for another man, notwithstanding his own infidelity. To illustrate, his disregard for what Daisy wants is shown when Tom says, “‘She’s not leaving me!’ [his] words suddenly [lean] down over Gatsby. ‘Certainly not for a common swindler who’d have to steal the ring he put on her finger’” (pg. 140). Not only does Tom outright tell Daisy she cannot leave him, but he also insults Gatsby at the same time, insinuating that he is only wealthy because he knows how to be a con man.

Thus, the objectification of women and the normality of it in the 1920s only further contribute to Daisy’s inability to leave her disloyal husband. Likewise, the importance of wealth is also highly evident in The Great Gatsby, especially through Daisy’s character…

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