During Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, it is apparent to be an absurd time for the wealthy. The shallowness of money, riches, and a place in a higher social class were probably the most important components in most lives at that period of time. This is expressed clearly by Fitzgerald, especially through his characters, which include Myrtle Wilson, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, and of course, Jay Gatsby. This novel was obviously written to criticize and condemn the ethics of the rich. The first character who represents the shallowness of the wealthy is Myrtle Wilson, even though she is not wealthy at all.
She seeks to escape her own class and stoops to the low point of betraying her trusting husband who loves her more than anything. Her attempt to break into the higher class that Tom belongs to is doomed to fail. Even though she does take on Tom's way of living during their affair, she only becomes more vulgar and corrupt like the rich. She scorns people from her own class and loses all sense of morality. Myrtle never finds a place in Tom's higher social division, and what reveals her impertinence most is that she thought she would succeed in the first place, giving up all her morals for the wealthy. Undoubtedly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan exceedingly demonstrate the wealthy class's lack of integrity.
Their lives are filled with material comforts and luxuries and completely empty of true purpose. Daisy's lament is especially indicative of this:' What " ll we do with ourselves this afternoon? And the day after that? And the next thirty years?' ; Daisy also exhibits her shallowness when she is too restless to wait for her 'love', Gatsby, to return from he war, and she marries Tom. Her most drastic immoral action is committed when she runs over Myrtle and does not even bother to stop and help a person that is 'below' her. Daisy's husband, Tom shows his ridiculous morality in different ways. One way is his search for power, which is shown most through his affair with Myrtle and his possessiveness. He evidently feels further domination and masculinity when he has her, a woman of lower class, as his mistress.
Secondly, Tom Buchanan is shallow enough to think that everything and everyone he has in his life are part of his property. This increases his 'power' and makes him feel as if he is truly successful. This couple, Tom and Daisy certainly contain serious corruptness due to their shallowness and self-indulgence. Gatsby, the supposed hero of the novel, is a character that surely indicates that Fitzgerald means to denounce the righteousness of the rich. Unlike the other characters in the novel, Gatsby's condition is related more to idealism and his faith in life's possibilities, rather than social ambition.
Like Myrtle, Gatsby strives to fit himself into another social group so that he can impress Daisy and win her back. Gatsby is disillusioned and actually thinks he can bring back the past. His attempt is more urgent than Myrtle's, since his whole faith in life is captivated by it. Failure, therefore, is more terrible for him.
His entire confidence in life and himself is totally shattered when he fails to win Daisy. The heroic presentation of Gatsby, therefore, should not be taken at face value, for one cannot overlook the fact that Gatsby is na " ive, impractical, and that he refuses to grow up. It is true that the 'great' Gatsby is indeed sarcastic since he is the main character therefore the one to be condemned most. Unquestionably, Fitzgerald's reason of writing The Great Gatsby was to scold the wealthy's code of ethics. Every character's purpose is to show lack of morality in a distinct way. Actions and events in the novel all display the foolishness and absurdity that wealth brought to people's lives.
In more ways than enough, F. Scott Fitzgerald successfully uses his novel to condemn the morals of the wealthy.