How is the concept of money explained in “The Great Gatsby” novel?
Just as the Hotel de Ville is a huge aristocratic house in Normandy, so Gatsby’s house was clearly influenced by French aristocracy which proves he is very well off. This is important to the reader as the setting highlights that during this era there was clear importance of status and power depending on property and location.
However, unlike most people in East Egg who’s money has been inherited from ancestors, Jay Gatsby earned his own fortune. He was originally known as James Gatz of North Dakota where he was raised into a family living in poverty. He then separated from his family and began sailing with a man known as Dan Cody who became a father figure to him. However, when Cody died, his wife omitted Gatsby from his will leaving him with no money.
“He was left with his singularly appropriate education; the vague contour of Jay Gatsby had filled out to the substantiality of a man.”
Gatsby has just been taught his first significantly hard life lesson that you will not receive everything you want or expect in life and prompts him to use his own knowledge to recover. He is left with nothing and has to use his own initiative to rebuild his life by incorporating all the things he learned from Dan Cody over the past five years. This situation impacted Gatsby and was a catalyst for his transformation from child to adult. Gatsby’s life at this point shows a clear embodiment of the American Dream as he goes through the process of rags to riches. Following this, Gatsby falls in love and strives to be successful to win Daisy Buchanan over.