The Great Gatsby and The Money Tree

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Ever herd the term money doesn't grow on trees? I just finished watching Great Gatsby which was a novel published by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. After watching the movie I found out that it does. The story takes place just after World War I in New York. Nick Carraway moves into a wealthy area in West Egg. His house is right next to the mansion owned by Jay Gatsby. Gatsby who just got back from the War wants to find Daisy, a girl that he had loved before the War. The only thing is that Daisy is now married. Daisy's husband Tom, does not love her. He is cheating on his wife with Myrtle Wilson. Jay Gatsby throws huge parties every Saturday night hoping that Daisy will attend one of them. She never does. Gatsby finally meets her again after five years, and shows her around his house.

Daisy is torn between Gatsby and her husband. Just when I thought Gatsby was going to win her away from Tom, Fitzgerald adds a little irony to his story. While driving Gatsby's car Daisy runs Myrtle over, not knowing who she even is, and kills her. Gatsby takes the blame for the murder and is shot by Myrtle's husband. After Gatsby's murder, Tom and Daisy get their tree, move out of the area, and move on with their lives, almost as if nothing happened.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, and named after his ancestor Francis Scott Key, the author of The Star-Spangled Banner. Fitzgerald was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He never really liked school. Instead of finishing college he enlisted in the army in 1917. While in the army he met the love of his life, Zelda Sayre. Like the situation between Gatsby and Daisy, Zelda would not marry him unless he proved wealth and success. Fitzgerald got one of his books published and she finally would marry him. Fitzgerald put other similarities from his real life into The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald and Nick Carraway are both from Minnesota. Also, Fitzgerald and Gatsby both like wealth and both fell in love while in the army. It seems like he took his life story and put a little twist on it.

Besides the obvious love story, Fitzgerald shows the difference between "new money" and "old money". Old money means money that your parents had and you share. You have always been wealthy and you will always be. The people with old money feel like they are superior to the people with new money. They think they have more grace, taste, subtlety, and elegance. The "new money" is people who did not grow up in a wealthy family. They were never rich until just recently. In Jay Gatsby situation he lies about where he got all his money, because he made it illegally. Fitzgerald portrays the new money as being show-offs, and lacking in social graces and taste. Gatsby, for example, lives in a mansion, wears a pink suit, drives a Rolls-Royce and is not as proper as he should be. The so called "new money" are not respected by the "old money" The Great Gatsby was a novel that showed how the wealthy people of America lived after WWI. They couldn't do anything without a bottle of whiskey. They had money and they let people know it. If they needed more they could easily go to the back yard and pick some off of their tree because they were rich enough to afford one of those. They lived their lives almost carefree. Spoiled by their riches, they only cared about themselves.