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Great Gatsby, Not Such a Great Tipper

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By Edited Aug 19, 2016 0 0

First of all, if you the reader happen to be one of the truly disgustingly wealthy that are the subject of this article, then it is probably not for you. We’re likely to do a lot of whining and complaining about how unfair it all is that we have to take the bus to work and you get to travel to non-work via yacht, and it will likely just be one huge yawn for you. Of course, if it really bothered you enough, we’re sure you could pay someone to make us shut up about it.

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork The Great Gatsby, his narrator Nick Carroway has mixed feelings about his prosperous acquaintance. While he is envious of Jay Gatsby’s ridiculous fortune and easy lifestyle, he is also repulsed by his playboy behavior. Below are a couple of Great Gatsby quotes that illustrate his opinion of the millionaire:

When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. (1.4)

His family were enormously wealthy – even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach – but now he’d left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather took your breath away; for instance, he’d brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest. It was hard to realize that a man in my own generation was wealthy enough to do that. Why they came East I don’t know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. (1.16-17)


For the vast majority of us, these feelings likely do not seem foreign. Although most of us are bright
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 enough to realize that money does not, in fact, buy you love or happiness, it sure can buy you a lot of nice things that come awfully close. Very few of us have everything we could possibly desire, and for the rest of us, that desire to acquire more - or to at least acquire enough that we are comfortable and not in fear of destitution or lesser financial hardship - is often what keeps driving us forward. (If one were wealthy enough, one might even be able to pay someone to do their ACT Prep for them!) So it is understandable that we might look at someone who has everything handed to him on a silver platter - quite possibly in a literal sense - and at once admire and resent them for their effortless success. Ah well. We can always TP their front lawn while they’re sleeping.
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