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It is a story transcribed during a period of unprecedented economic and social growth and boom. It encompasses the wealthy, classy and mighty on the land. Their quest for wealth has eroded their moral grounds and sense of decency. It is a society, which pays attention to material possession. The rich are sucked deep by their pride and arrogance into a state, where they carry themselves with no self-respect and are comfortable with the decadent life.

The author transcribes how wealth has contributed to the social ills in the society in that period. He has brought out eloquently the two rich factions in Long Island, New York. The East egg, which had conservative, classy aristocrats and the newly found wealthy of West egg, who were self-made wealthy people.

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The wealth through inheritance is a common phenomenon among the ruling elite; the East egg. Aristocrats usually acquire vast wealth by abusing power; this is a result of greed, narcissism and corruption. It is usually a culmination individualistic self-interest of I & me, which finally transforms to We and Us; comprising of family, cronies (Hatten 147). It is encompasses social and political connections.

The West egg represents the self-made wealthy circles. This group of newly found rich men and women are rich as result of economic boom after the end of the First World War in 1918.

The moral culture

However, they are not as classy, garish and traditional as their counterpart from East egg. They are flashy and display lavish lifestyle across for the society to acknowledge their prosperity and social status.

An element of being insensitive and inconsiderate is evident during the dinner under the auspices of Daisy and Tom Buchanan, where Nick,  Daisy’s cousin, was invited, together with Daisy’s friend, Jordan Baker; a female golfer. Tom and Daisy invited Jordan Baker with a motive for Nick to romantically pursue Jordan. The dinner arrangement evidently showed motive. It is during the dinner, when Tom chanted racial white imperialism sentiments from a novel; the rise of the colored Empire by a man name Goddard. The author used this as an expression in a time, when racial connotations and sentiments were order of the day. This is true because during that time in history, race was one of the powerful social prejudices of that period.

The Buchanan’s dinner also displayed betrayal by Jordan Baker, when Tom left shortly to answer a call, which she equivocally knew it was his mistress, Myrtle, it defines Jordan Baker as being a traitor and not a true friend. She had knowledge of the infidelity and yet, she chose to share it with Daisy’s cousin, Nick. Nick as well is a traitor and has betrayed her cousin in a very big way. He too, has knowledge of the affair and doesn’t disclose to her blood cousin, who is faithful to Tom Buchanan.  This is blatant betrayal.

The author clearly extrapolates how the connection between acquisition and pursuit of wealth can contribute to social decay as portrayed by Tom Buchanan, having an affair outside marriage with George Wilson’s wife, Myrtle. This shows lack of moral and respect for the marriage institution. It is a manifestation of pursuit of wealth, which comes with degraded social fabric (Hatten 2009).

Gatsby is a manifestation of wealth, acquired dishonestly. Nobody has knowledge of how he attained his estates.  His story has some context of dishonesty and lack of transparency, including his mysterious dealings with Meyer Wolfshiem.  He sends the notion that he cannot be trusted and is a person who engages in un-lawful and unscrupulous misdoings. It is evident, when Nick was digging him up to find out about his background. The author uses Gatsby to prove how some of the wealthy individuals are not transparent and clear about how they obtained their wealth. Gatsby also represents a byproduct of wealth, pursued for self-gratification; when he schemed and orchestrated a plan to break Daisy’s marriage by pursuing her again (Hatten 147).

This period saw record-high spending on consumer products. The increase in wealth in New York, the financial hub of the world economy, witnessed unprecedented growth. Gatsby was caught up in the frenzy and extravagant lifestyle. This had a sad ending of his fast-paced lifestyle, catalyzed by media sensation to drive consumption. It never occurred to Gatsby that the intricacies of such affairs will catch up with him.

The rich were responsible for the decay in social fabric. The rich thrived on the existence of valley of Ashes. Without denizens of valley of Ashes; it served as a source of labor and pleasure. It was a haven for secret affairs and gratification of their fantasies. When Nick accompanied Tom to meet discreetly with Myrtle in the valley of Ashes, this testifies to the degree of moral decadences, which are responsible for the nation’s moral and social decay (Potsdam 696).

The eyes of Doctor T.J. Meckleburg and the green light can be interpreted in myriad of ways to depict different meaning. The eye of Doctor T.J. Mecklenburg, watching over valley of Ashes, can be decoded to mean God. God, watching over his people of valley of Ashes, in Gatsby context towards Daisy, it can be interpreted as love, and on the other hand, it can be interpreted to mean the American dream. They have passion and drive to achieve wealth at all costs and by any means.

Gatsby’s pursuit for Daisy’s love never fades, as he persistently urges Nick to arrange for a meeting with his cousin, Daisy, despite the fact that she is married to his in-law, Tom. Nick also comes out as careless and inconsiderate person despite being a little remorseful. As he knows very well the status of his cousin and he still insists for them to meet over tea with Gatsby. He adds to the conspiracy of the secret love affair between Gatsby and Daisy. Nick is putting the marriage of his cousin in a great jeopardy and with far-reaching consequences. This makes Nick a reckless and irresponsible. He doesn’t think how Daisy or Tom will perceive him; they may perceive him as a home breaker.

The twist and turns.

The irony is that Nick has played an integral role of witnessing unfaithfulness and infidelity in both sides; Tom and Daisy Buchanan. The author failed to hammer or to affirm their infidelity. It is as if the author found it to be morally acceptable; the reunion between Daisy and Gatsby. And yet, in the moral scope, it is not acceptable and, therefore, it should be condoned. Daisy and Tom Buchanan represented the aristocrats, who were supposed to carry themselves with dignity and respect. That means that the author let loose of their moral misconduct and it was normal.  He should have attached stringent moral values degradation connotations on them.

Nick had a choice to evoke the reunion advances of Gatsby, it seem vividly that Nick was regretting the fact the two had met. He saw the magnitude of their past in the room as pianist, Klipspringer played a song called “Ain’t We Got Fun?”  The emotional aura in the room struck Nick to a point of him leaving the room. This was the beginning of a rekindled love; Nick had no idea that he had lit the flame of cupid between the two-reunited lovebirds. Ironically, Nick is flabbergasted by the level of moral decadences in New York, and even though he arranged the reunion, he failed to read the tale-tale signs, displayed by Gatsby. The fact that Gatsby gave offers of great appetite should have served to alarm him of what he was getting himself into and that included his cousin, Daisy and Gatsby.

The founding fathers of America envisioned a nation, where all efforts were rewarded accordingly and justly. They envisioned a country, where everyone benefited fairly, economically and socially. A nation’s, where economic prosperity is divided equally for all to celebrate but that was contrary to what happened in the 1920s economic boom in New York; the financial nerve center of America. The aristocrats in East egg and the West egg; self-made rich men maintained that the valley of Ashes should always co-exist harmoniously for economic slavery. This is evident, when Tom with his discreet peculiar habits went to the Valley of Ashes to meet his mistress Myrtle.

The author’s narrative about the affair is never laid down in any scene in his work. Instead, it’s Nick who tells the story of how the affair unfolds, aside from reuniting the lovebirds.

This undermines the credibility of the narrative. The author is detracting his credibility by not clearly bringing out the picture of infidelity by Daisy and Jay Gatsby. The story lacks authenticity to verify the discreet affair between Daisy and Gatsby. Nick is driving their story; this is a third-party kind of unraveling of the story, instead of the scene by scene unfolding of the narrative, the narrative should flow naturally.

In chapter six, Gatsby manifests as self-made rich man, who followed his heart and passion for material possession. Dan Cody planted a seed of nurturing him. In my view, I firmly believe that he mentored him to pursue his passion and heart desire. Jay Gatsby is a determined man, who has had a share of struggles and strife on his way to become rich. Whatever his heart dreamt about, he always had a way of finding it. On the other hand, he reflects how the pursuit of material possession can lead to moral indecency and dead conscience.

In my view, it is evident, even if he knows very well that he’s wrecking a home. This is a common phenomenon with the morally decayed rich men. Over-industrialization is a potent factor in the decay of virtues (Rampal 125). Tom was an aristocrat who was culturally supposed to lead and not to mess around. He manifested the erosion of moral fabric as a result of industrial capitalism (Rampal 125).

The past unearthed.

Much of Tom’s early life is coming into the limelight. He is a man who came from a humble background. The reporter, who came to in an attempt to interview Gatsby, shows how the media is fond of magnifying stories of the rich aristocrats and the democratic rich; individuals who attained wealth without any political or social connections; they are self made. The media uses such stories to create buzz and sensation. This contravenes the privacy space of the subject matter, as the stories being dug by the media is mostly not constructive and relevant, as there are more serious issues that are affecting lives. The media should shift focus as well as shift their concerted efforts on sensitive issue that are impacting lives and not going around, spreading rumors, which are not fruitful.

The stopping by of Tom together with Mr. and Mrs. Sloanes is symbolic and dramatically intuitive. It was driven by intuition. As from the visiting Gatsby, he invited them for dinner and started protesting to have known Daisy. The visit also came handy to affirm Tom’s intuition that something is happening, and all this is happening at the backdrop of recent behavior change by Daisy as a result of the reunion with Gatsby.

The narrative also airs out how the rich, who also downplay their fellow rich men social status, given the fact that they are in the same social ladder. As it is with the case with the East eggers; Tom and Mr. and Mrs. Sloanes who perceive Gatsby differently, the West egger, Gatsby, as he lacks the social nuance, aristocracy glamour. It shows that even within the very rich, there still exists class distinction. They disregard him and yet, he has the same level of prosperity or wealth as them, they share the same social status and cadre.

In valley of Ashes, just under the watchful eyes of Doctor T.J.Meckleburg, Myrtle was struck by a speeding car, Daisy was on the wheel together with Gatsby, when she hit and run Myrtle. This episode doesn’t add up, as it defeats logic as portrayed by the author, one cannot sum it as a sheer coincidence that Daisy hit Myrtle, who happened to be Tom’s mistress. This is a fallacy and Nick does not even have a story to back up the incident. The reasoning behind the incident does not elicit any tangible evidence to support the viewpoint of the author. The author also fails to support the incident; the story of Myrtle is feeble and predisposes the reader to a cloud of imagination, as the story is shallow and inconclusive.

The incident of Myrtle, being stricken by a speeding vehicle which drove off, serves to portray or can be interpreted as carelessness and reckless. It can also be interpreted to show how the rich and mighty are above the law and do not have value for life. They have perverted moral values, which were the result of wealth (Rampal 125). The incident clearly shows dead conscience by both Daisy and Gatsby.

The death of Jay Gatsby at the pool by the bullets of George Wilson shows how Gatsby came to seal his fate, when he worshipped wealth and Daisy. Material possession coupled with moral disintegration always lead to fatal life. In my view, Gatsby’s love for wealth, moral emptiness and Daisy was his major down fall. This is same story, replicated by many wealthy individuals with degraded moral beliefs. Untimely, death is usually the end product of the greedy, morally corrupt and selfish individuals. Mark Twain’s materialistic philosophy “What is a man?” suggests that a society is in self-destruction, if it’s driven by greed, hypocrisy, deception, and selfishness (Potsdam 697).

In the beginning, when Gatsby worked for the business mogul, Dan Cody, his uncorrupted frame of mind led him to accomplish the unimaginable despite his background.  Gatsby’s brilliance and visionary on amassing wealth had the same fate as his mentor, Dan Cody. They were all victims of emptiness and both of them had not embraced money, whose real value is spiritual other than material. The emptiness of the heart is always replaced by materials, which money can buy or materials, which are a direct or indirect manifestation of money such as social ills attached to money, infidelity, binge drinking etc. For the pursuit of money for material gain always renders money worthless (Potsdam 697).

Gatsby’s vision for wealth suffered reduced power and purpose, as his pursuits were geared towards material possession. This type of mind shifts always the true happiness, fulfillment and contentment that comes as a result of acquiring wealth and more so, acquiring it in an honest and transparent manner. Wealth, acquired with disposition to dominate, which is common with the aristocrats, who amass vast wealth through abuse of power. All these are products of moral disintegration. Egalitarian societies tend to pose a sharp contrast, because of how wealth is managed and distributed by the aristocrats. In an egalitarian society all are equal before the law. Egalitarian societies are always characterized by tremendous economic growth and social change, the moral fabric of high caliber.

Gatsby also represented the American society at that time to what it is today. Capitalistic accumulation of wealth, which is material-centric, damaging to the moral of the society, exploration of wealth has been linked to shady dealings and unscrupulous activities and, thus, wealth is subjected or associated with greedy pursuit of money. This has seen the “American dream” merely degenerated.

Gatsby had lost his moral high ground as a result of the resilient pursuit of wealth to live lavishly. Daisy was his epitome of existence. This is evident by his relentless pursuit for her; it brings out element of lack of morals. In the back of his mind, he knew that he would use money in his arsenal to woo Daisy back, clearly knowing that Daisy was married and with a child. Material possession can throw your dignity and reputation into disarray.

The death of Gatsby can be attributed to the life he lived. His funeral is ushered by glitz and glamour, amid all the confusion Nick manages to pull everything together. Nick has shown leadership skills all throughout, even though he lacked the courage and boldness to quell the atmosphere of re-united love between Daisy and Gatsby.  Nick succinctly illustrates leadership through being loyal and holding firm to his moral beliefs. He’s a monumental figure in that he has at no time shed his true self, and however, the he is sluggish in handling of the Tom’s marriage and the secret affairs.

Leadership is paramount in implementation of sound economic, social and political changes. Nick symbolizes leadership, but his style is not what we should expect. We need visionary leaders, leaders with a proven track record.

Capitalism with Democracy

America is the cradle of capitalism. Capitalism ushered in rapid growth of the economy through enterprises, which saw millions of jobs created and lives transformed. The system promotes growth by individuals with entrepreneurial mindset, but also circum the ruling elite to amass wealth by extending their political powers or by breaking the rule of law. The East eggers, Tom, Daisy and Mr. and Mrs. Sloanes were part of the aristocrats; who are characterized by inheriting of wealth from their parents, who were, once, ruling or acquired wealth through political connections.

Capitalism’s egalitarian promise of opportunity for all is in its essential fairness and in its capacity to provide for the general welfare (Yates, Hunter 437).  The great depression, which shook the fundamentals of capitalism, has led to people having little confidence in the system. New York is the head quarter of America’s financial back-bone. After the death of Jay Gatsby, Nick decided that he would move away from New York and its empty moral values. This illustrates how deep-rooted the moral decadence of New York. Nick’s emigration from New York to the Midwest illustrates a shift in culture, the culture, entrenched in New York, is absolutely degrading of values, which the America’s founding fathers fought very hard for.

Nick’s departure from New York sends the message of a leader who lacks courage to face the environment, which is polluted with greed, and love for material possession. He should face the challenges with a view to influence change. He can develop the capacity and will, the power to transform the values of New Yorkers. We need transformational leadership that will cut across all the social ills and prejudice in the society. The author failed to armor Nick with leadership mantle he deserved. Nick was to be the instrument for social and political change.

Nick had the chance to be patriotic; he should not have walked away from the Daisy and Tom. He had a role to play in his judgments about Daisy and Tom as being careless and selfish. He would have used them to make a better society, given the fact that, he was central in their lives. Nick was the bridge between the aristocrats, East egg and the self-made, West egg.

New York is where capitalism is at its best. The thrift, attached to capitalism, has faded away dramatically. People no longer have confidence in the system, as it has seen many lose their life savings in just a blink of an eye. The economic management has been left to the greedy few who squander public resources for their own selfish ends.

The “Great Gatsby” brings home the rot in values as the end results for dilapidated moral fiber. The two sides merged to exemplify how capitalism had impacted their lives. Prudent economy management was essential, in order for all to enjoy the fruits of American dream.

Thriftiness was supposed to create a kind of capitalist homunculus, miniature internal businessperson who directs optimizing behavior and secures, however, modestly future self-sufficiency (Yates, Hunter 437).

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