Responsibility in The Great Gatsby

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA-, March 1997

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The character qualities of individuals has become a popular theme in literature. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald recognizes the conflict between wealth and responsibility. In the book the narrator, Nick, describes how two of the main characters, Tom and Daisy, use their wealth to hide from what the poor must face everyday. Tom and Daisy lived on the banks of the East Egg, where they enjoyed the finer things in life. And no matter what happened they always seemed to care only of themselves. In the telling of Tom and Daisy's actions, Nick also seems to implicate that, in general, people and society use their wealth to hide behind. Tom, Daisy, and people in society dodge responsibility and reality with the aid of their great wealth.

In a quote said by Nick he states, 'They were a careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made....'

This quote can be related to a cartoon given to us as a thought provoking reference. The cartoon is of a man and woman sitting in an all glass house and the inscription reads, 'Of course, living in an all-glass house has its disadvantages... but you should see the birds smack it.' In a twisted way these two quotes say almost the same thing. Nick talks of Tom and Daisy who retreat to their house and money when all hell breaks loose around them and in the cartoon you can see the two people sitting comfortably watching the world around them 'crash and burn.' Also, in the book Tom admits that he didn't realize his actions...