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Nowadays, we are living in a World where everything turns around Money and luxury. People do not realise that we can find more things which are more important for our lives and happiness. Some years ago, other important things were; to spend quality time with the family, talk to each other about important thing in order to be always together and being informed in what is happening to the most important people into the society: your family.
Before starting analyzing The Great Gatsby book it is important to contextualize the world in 1920’s, the time which the actions of the novel occurred. United States, after the World War I, started to have an important economical progress and people in that country have an increasing economical prosperity. Also, alcohol was forbidden because of the Fifth Amendment and because of this many people started to have to sell alcohol under the law (bootlegging) and thanks this dangerous or risky business they earned a lot of money and they were positioned in an upper economical class.
If “The Great Gatsby” book is analysed on this context, it is possible to discover that for other people who came from another reality, totally different to ours (according to the time they were living in and their culture of being in a big country), money was the most important thing. The first example of this is Nick. He had to live in the lower “social class” part of the city, because in the highest one only lived the richest families. However, in the same place also live people with money but always less money than in the other side.
The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard-it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby’s mansion. (Fitzgerald; 1925: 3)
According to the description of the houses near to Nick’s house, it is important to mention that even in our time, only people who have a lot of money have houses with swimming pools and also, it is harder to find mansions in every place that you see when you are walking on the streets. On the other side of the city, in the richest one lived Tom. A person who did not care about what happened around him; he was only interesting on money and having a social relationship with people from that same lifestyle. Because his family was enormously wealthy and we he was a graduated from university man, he was the owner of his fortune and he did not care on the amount of money that he spent. For that reason, his growth was always turning around things that he can get with his influences because of his big fortune. They were not interested on the feelings of others. For example: they only married people from the same economical level, so they did not care about how was on the inside.
After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe-Paris, Venice, Rome-collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago. (Fitzgerald; 1925: 31)
Daisy is an exemplary character of the book in this context, because she had to marry Tom in order to “be happy”, whereas her family told her to do it with the purpose to be successful; they did not care about her feelings or what she wanted for herself.
In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. (Fitzgerald; 1925: 36)
Another example could be Gatsby, who did all the things in order to be popular and tried to obtain Daisy’s love through outrageous parties and all the goods that he seemed to have (houses, cars, golden bathtubs, etc.). He did not live in a regular size house; he lived in a mansion with a huge swimming pool, a big garden, and a big corridor. Also, he worn shirts of sheer linen and silk and fine flannel and he had a lot of those ones. It is important to see all the things that a person can only do in the name of love, or in this case, to get back Daisy’s love, but according to the situation through the book, Gatsby was the personification of a caprice that many rich girls have for poor men, because if she would be fell in love of Gatsby, she would not marry another man even her if her family told her to do it. She could fight for expressing her feelings without considering if he had money or not.
But she didn’t say another word. We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress, and half an hour later, when we walked out of the room, the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over. Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so much as a shiver, and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas. (Fitzgerald; 1925: 37)
However, in spite of all the things that Gatsby did even if those were good or bad, he was always alone. When he gave his parties, nobody talked to him, even a few people knew him or knew something about him or his life, because of that reason, and most of the people speculate things about his past, things like he was a murderer. But in one of the most important moments in the life of any person, at his funeral, he was also alone. After having hundreds of people in his house having awesome parties with the finest orchestras and for that reason, the best music, at the moment of his death were Nick, a couple of workers and his father, but nobody from his circle of friends.
The minister glanced several times at his watch, so I took him aside and asked him to wait for half an hour. But it wasn’t any use. Nobody came. (Fitzgerald; 1925: 88)
On the other hand, it is possible to see what happened on the other book “Motorcycle diaries”. Here, there is a contemporary reality, because it depicts the society of 1950 and people from another social reality. It is important to consider that in that time people were worried about recovering peace and economical stability after the Second World War. For that reason, most of people had all the things that were necessary to live and having a good lifestyle, but many other continuing living in poor conditions.
In the Motorcycle Diaries book, the main two characters were from the middle-high Argentinean socio economical class. But through the book it is possible to discover that they did not care about their money, they were worried about the others, how the other people from other country, for example many Chilean people can live in poor conditions. For example, in Chile they saw three specific groups of people in which nobody had any political power in our country. The only power that those people had was historical, because of their cultural legacy. However, when they were in Chile, they also said that Chilean people gave them food and a place where to sleep. Those things happened because Chileans were not interested on the things that they could get if they accept to have them as guests even if they could ask them for some money as payment. Also, as they were seeing those kinds of things they started o believed that some socio-economical actions were very important on the development of a country.
â€¦But it’s time that those who govern spent less time publicizing their own virtues and more money, much more money finding socially useful works. (Guevara; 2004: 70-71).
At some time travelling and receiving free food they were a little bit ashamed, because they did not have money to buy things to eat and they wanted to keep money that they had until they were in Peru, but thanks to the people that they knew they could get a job before to continue with their travel. Besides, they sometimes had to skip some principal food on a day because they had not money to buy things, for those reasons they were many days without trying any food.
â€¦We were so short on money we were almost scared to eat; but we didn’t want to work until reaching Lima where there was the reasonable hope we’d find better paid work and save enough to continue on the road, since there was still no talk of turning back. (Guevara; 2004: 124).
Therefore, as a comparison of the two books mentioned before, it is possible to realized that in the Great Gatsby all the book world turns around money, but on the other book, The Motorcycle Diaries, money takes a secondary place, so the character developed all the important things without having money on the first place, thing that is impossible to find on the first book, because they could not obtain anything without money. Also, the character of the first book, Jay Gatsby, did many things related to money in order to recover the Daisy’s love, for that reason, he gave many parties with the fake illusion that in any of those, Daisy could arrive and living with him forever. But that can only be on Gatsby’s mind, because the reality was totally different; Daisy was with another man with a lot of money and she could get all the things that she could imagine. Otherwise, on Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto Guevara did many things in order to discover other realities of specific South American countries and to reach his goal, he considered important to go there with his friend, but as those experiences happened, they became a kind of brothers, because they have to face hungry, poor conditions, to sleep in everywhere that people offered them, many times outside of a house; here, for them, the most important thing was to help many people who lived in worse conditions than them.
As a conclusion, it is important to mention that in despite of the characters lived in different contexts, they have different appreciations about money, but in both contexts, people were part of an important and influential socio economical class. However, for some of them, money was the most important feature on other people, so if someone did not have money, they saw him as nobody. Even though, there were other people on the other book that would like to have the same amount of money but with the purpose of helping people around them. Also, other people would like to have money, not to be a rich person, but they would like to have the minimum things to live worthily. Even money is important to have a good life and without it we cannot do anything, it is not the most important one. There are other characteristics that are more important in people, such as, how other people are inside themselves. Also, the idea of getting power because of having money is an actual problem in our societies, because many people grow up with that idea, and as more money you have, more money you want to get. This action creates selfish people who think that all their problems can be solved thanks money but in the real life, things are very far from this concept of life. People from real life have to fight for getting things, for being successful and for being happy. So it is important to teach people while they are growing the real value of the things that are around themselves and how they can face money problems and the main meaning of this over value component in the present world.
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