Greed in The Great Gatsby: The Destructive Power

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 588 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 588|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Greed and Materialism
  2. Greed and Betrayal
  3. Greed and Isolation
  4. Conclusion

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a classic novel that explores the themes of wealth, love, and the American Dream. One of the central themes of the novel is greed, and how it can corrupt individuals and destroy relationships. Throughout the novel, there are several quotes that illustrate the destructive power of greed, and how it ultimately leads to tragedy.

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Greed and Materialism

One of the most memorable quotes in The Great Gatsby that demonstrates the destructive nature of greed comes from the character of Daisy Buchanan. When Daisy sees Gatsby's opulent mansion for the first time, she is overwhelmed by the extravagant display of wealth. She exclaims, "I've never seen such beautiful shirts before." This quote encapsulates Daisy's materialistic nature, as she is more impressed by Gatsby's possessions than by his love for her.

Similarly, Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, is also driven by greed and a desire for material wealth. Tom is described as having "cruel ," which suggests that his obsession with money has corrupted him to the point where he is willing to hurt others in order to get what he wants. Tom's greed ultimately leads to the tragic death of Gatsby, as he is unable to let go of his possessiveness over Daisy.

Greed and Betrayal

Another quote that highlights the destructive power of greed in The Great Gatsby is when Gatsby himself admits, "I was a guide to many and a fool to none." This quote reveals Gatsby's realization that his pursuit of wealth and status has led him to betray his own values and principles. Gatsby's greed for Daisy's love blinds him to the consequences of his actions, and ultimately leads to his downfall.

Similarly, the character of Myrtle Wilson is also driven by greed and a desire for a better life. Myrtle's affair with Tom Buchanan is motivated by her desire to escape her lower-class existence and attain the material comforts that Tom can provide. However, Myrtle's greed ultimately leads to her tragic death, as she is killed in a car accident while trying to escape from Tom's wife, Daisy.

Greed and Isolation

One of the most poignant quotes in The Great Gatsby that illustrates the destructive power of greed is when Nick Carraway reflects on the emptiness of Gatsby's life. Nick observes, "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther." This quote highlights Gatsby's insatiable greed for the unattainable, and how it ultimately isolates him from the world around him.

Similarly, the character of Jordan Baker is also driven by greed and a desire for success. Jordan's competitive nature and obsession with winning lead her to cheat in a golf tournament, which ultimately results in her losing the respect of others. Jordan's greed for victory isolates her from meaningful relationships and leaves her feeling empty and unfulfilled.

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The Great Gatsby is a powerful novel that explores the destructive nature of greed and its impact on individuals and society. Through the characters of Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson, Jordan Baker, and others, F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates how greed can corrupt individuals, destroy relationships, and lead to tragedy. The quotes mentioned above serve as powerful reminders of the consequences of unchecked greed, and the importance of valuing love, integrity, and compassion over material possessions. As readers, we are left to ponder the lessons of The Great Gatsby and reflect on how we can avoid the pitfalls of greed in our own lives.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Greed in The Great Gatsby: The Destructive Power. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from
“Greed in The Great Gatsby: The Destructive Power.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Greed in The Great Gatsby: The Destructive Power. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Greed in The Great Gatsby: The Destructive Power [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from:
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