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Morality, Values, and Lifestyle of Society in The Great Gatsby

Morality, values, and lifestyle played a major role in developing the plot of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald used it in order to give the reader a clearer meaning on who the characters in the book really are, rather than what they act like. By putting emphasis on these aspects of the characters, the reader sees how much the characters differ from each other and the way it effects their relationships with each other. Morality is defined as a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct. The Buchanans, Jordan Baker, Gatsby, and Nick each have different sense of morality.

Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jordan Baker all have practically the same morals. Daisy and Tom are both cheating on each other- Daisy with Gatsby, Tom with Myrtle Wilson- but neither of them seems to see anything wrong with they themselves are doing. When it comes to Daisy’s and Tom’s views on the other’s affair, though, they are outraged and want the relationship to be broken off. During the time that Daisy and Tom are having these affairs, a lot of lying is going on, on both of their parts. Once again, neither of them sees anything wrong with this.

Jordan is also on the same level morally as the Buchanans. She is an arrogant, beautiful, young woman who uses deceit in order to win her golf tournaments and lies to get what she wants. Gatsby has more morals than the Buchanans, but he also used dishonesty to achieve his goals. During a time of prohibition, Gatsby made all of his money by bootlegging liquor. Gatsby, at least, stays true to what he believes in. All Gatsby did was done because of his love for Daisy. Nick has the most morals of all the characters in the book. He believes in honesty and abiding the law.

He is the complete opposite of the Buchanans and Jordan, but is still attracted to them. Nick pretty much stays out of the others business, and doesn’t show support or reject any of their actions. Value is a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. The characters that share the same morals also share the same values. The Buchanans and Jordan are all about money. They make choices that are most beneficial to them- it doesn’t really matter to them who they hurt in the meantime as long as they come out on top.

Daisy, Tom, and Jordan use money, popularity, and beauty as a source of happiness. What is most valuable to Gatsby is Daisy Buchanan. All he has done in his life, all the goals he had set for himself, were because of his desire for Daisy. Nick’s values are based on honesty and goodness. He believes that money does not bring happiness and is disgusted with the values of Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and the rest of the aristocratic East- coasters share. Although the characters in The Great Gatsby live in close proximity of each other, all in different sections of Long Island, their lifestyles vary.

The Buchanans and Jordan live in East Egg, the part of Long Island in which the families who have inherited the money they have live. The East Eggers were born into money and were brought up in a lavish lifestyle. The atmosphere of this part of Long Island is very laid back. The East Eggers have a tendency to be slovenly, because everything was always handed to them. The inhabitants of West Egg are the “nouveaux riche,” or the newly rich. This is where Gatsby and Nick reside. The newly rich are more hardworking because they grew up poorly, or maybe in a middle class home, and have come into money by earning it.

Although the residents of the “Eggs” are rich, the West Eggers are looked down upon by the East Eggers because they are not genuinely rich. Fitzgerald uses his descriptions of the morality, values, and lifestyles to enhance the meaning of The Great Gatsby. These descriptions show how two groups could be so close and similar, but at the same time be different. The Buchanans, Jordan Baker, Gatsby, and Nick are perfect examples of this. Maybe it is true when people say opposites attract.

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