Throughout the novel of The Great Gatsby corruption is a prevalent and reoccurring theme and lies within most characters. They become overwhelmed with their own self desires and goal to gain material possession that it blocks their true vision of innocence and morality. Daisy for example is introduced into the book as an innocent dedicated wife to Tom but as the book progresses there is an evident change in her character as she becomes increasingly corrupt. By the end of the book Daisy is selfish, destructive and careless as she handles the situation between her husband, Tom, and her ex lover, Gatsby.
For example of her being careless, she lets Gatsby take the blame for her killing of Myrtle Wilson which eventually leads to Gatsby’s death which she seems to show no concern. She is destructive by cheating on her husband while having no real intentions of leaving him for Gatsby. Tom from the beginning of the novel was always seen as corrupt when he has an ongoing affair with Myrtle to satisfy his own needs and leave those needs and feelings of Daisy behind him. He focuses more on monetary value of things and his own self appearance than to the care which Daisy requires out of him as a husband.
Tom is also a hypocrite in a way when he catches Daisy and realizes what she has been doing behind his back, he becomes fierce and angry with her while at the same time he has been doing the same behind her back for years. Jordan Baker is also extremely corrupt because of her dishonesty and her need to gossip. She is a social climber who will cling to anyone who means anything or has money for her to grasp onto. She will do whatever it takes to win or get her way, as shown when she cheats in her round of golf to win the tournament. Everything she does is for show and has no regard for other people or their feelings.
She goes to Gatsby’s parties with no real concern for who he is while showing no gratitude or thanks for having the party. She is constantly looking out for herself and only herself trying to figure out ways in which she can be seen and become popular in the West and East Egg community. When Daisy was having her affair with Gatsby, Jordan supported her and was behind her during the whole thing, another example of corruption within Jordan. The people of West and East Egg are also all corrupt and consumed with themselves. This is shown when Gatsby dies because only two people show up to his funeral Nick and his father.
These people attending his parties have no care for him or his house while they’re there and cannot even pay respect to a man that has died and has given every one of them more then he needed to. Gatsby himself is also a corrupt character in the book yet not nearly as blatantly as the others. Gatsby is corrupted by love and his dream to be with Daisy. Everything he’s ever done in his life such as the money he’s made and the parties he throws are for the slightest chance of him becoming reacquainted with his lost love, Daisy. He is constantly being used by everyone in West and East Egg as an outlet to their everyday lives.
They have no regard for who he is and nor do they care. The people come and go as if it is routine for these parties and show no thanks to Gatsby. He has no true friends besides Nick in Egg. Gatsby, over the time of becoming rich has become overwhelmed and brought into the world of expensive material things all to impress Daisy, who previously could not be with him because he was not wealthy. All he can do is show that off so that in the slight chance she comes to one of his parties he can show her is wealth and what he has become.
Gatsby is so drawn into and brain-washed over Daisy that she is all he can think about and all he sees is that green light across the bay, dreaming of the time when he and Daisy can finally be together again. This dream is crushed though because he cannot compete with Tom. Tom being categorized under ‘old money’ while Gatsby is categorized under ‘new money’ and big distinction in the communities of West and East Egg. He has devoted his life to becoming an exclusive member to the ‘old money’ people in Long Island but will never be able to reach that goal which corresponds to his goal of end up with Daisy.
Corruption is an over arching theme throughout The Great Gatsby and all characters seem to reveal it in their own way with the exception of Nick who stays true to his midwest routes. Nick is never consumed in the material world or has the desire for anything greater than which he already has while all the other characters are always greedy and have desire for more things. They are all absorbed in their own world and worries that they have no time to see what others are doing or how they feel which is an easy way to lead to a corrupted lifestyle.
Courtney from Study Moose
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