"The Great Gatsby"
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old vs. New Money

all pictures from google images

Much like East vs. West Egg, Old and New Money play sides in the Great Gatsby. When someone refers to a class of people having "Old Money", they have had generations of fortune from their families. In short, people who are descendants of money who lounge around spending without a care in the world. For example, Tom and Daisy Buchanan represent old money because they live on East Egg, where all the "Old Money" people reside. “Old Money" people tend to be more vulnerable and don't like people with "New Money". A quote that exhibits this is: “ Self control, I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.." Old money was also described as high society which separates them from lower ranking classes who aren't around a wealthy family background.

In contrast, "New Money" people had to, in some way, earn their money because their families weren't lavishly wealthy. Jay Gatsby, who is labeled "New Money", earns his money through illegal means by bootlegging, or smuggling alcohol, and getting involved with mobs. During the 1920s, prohibition was happening and no one could sell, drink, or manufacture alcohol. However, Gatsby and many others secretly distributed alcohol at parties and underground clubs. Also, West Egg is home to those who are labeled "New Money. "The two classes were so different that marrying someone of a lower class was unacceptable. In the past, Gatsby and Daisy hit a rough patch where he confessed his love for Daisy and she rejected him because she said rich girls can't marry poor boys. In conclusion, old money vs. new money keeps separate social classes, attitudes, and ways of earning or receiving money.


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