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Materialism

Materialism is defined as an obsession with material goods. Materialism has become a

common character trait in society. It is rare the day that is lived where you do not witness

materialism. Materialism has become an addiction so severe that people will go to extremes to

portray a life that is not suited for them that ultimately leads to self destruction. The cost of

materialism is not only lofty in a monetary value, but that of the highest cost of all sacrificing

your morals and ethics. There are ample characters illustrated in the book The Great Gatsby by

F. Scott Fitzgerald that undoubtedly fit the definition of materialism. Daisy is one of the

characters that without a doubt is the definition of materialism manifested in human identity.

Daisy displays her materialism throughout the book rarely showing the slightest token of

humbleness. Gatsby states to Tom, "She only married you because I was poor" (130). In this

quote Gatsby solidifies that Daisy is materialistic. She is that of an extremist when it comes to

acquire wealth that she sacrificed love for the sake of money. Materialism is a direct reflection of

Daisy¶s character. In addition to being materialistic other negative character traits accompany

Daisy. Her materialism is a result of her selfishness. The materialistic values that Daisy clings to

ultimately become her self destruction. Her corruption is further illustrated when Gatsby later

describes to Nick Daisy's car accident, "Well, first Daisy turned away from the woman toward

the other car, and lost her nerve and turned back« Daisy stepped on it." (143). Daisy's cruel

action shows her corruption, since she continues to drive without any consideration of the

pedestrian, Myrtle. As is evident, her materialism results in her lack of a sense of humanity. She

disregards the wellbeing of other human beings, because she cares only for her possessions.

Furthermore, Daisy's materialism causes her to act negligent. Nick states, "Daisy... smashed up

things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness..." (179).
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Daisy's carelessness reveals her corruption once again. She uses her wealth and status to break

away from any responsibility. In this case, she flees from the death of Tom's mistress, Myrtle,

and lets Gatsby take the blame. Moreover, her action demonstrates the dishonest abuse of power

for personal gain, as she uses her money as she pleases in her advantage over the lower class.

Thus, materialism corrupts her, causing her to disregard the feelings of others. In addition, she

gives no respect to the person she runs over. As a result, her connection to money causes her to

be corrupted, since materialism causes her to show no compassion for human beings altogether.

On the other hand materialism does not affect me. I enjoy the finer things in life when

they are available to me; always being grateful and appreciative when I do receive them. For

example when I received my electric guitar I was well aware of what it cost my parents to

purchase it. Knowing this only made me want to take care of it more and appreciate it. I have one

pair of shoes because that¶s all I need. I have seen students all over campus with the same pair of

shoes just in different colors. An example of this is the frenzy around Jordan shoes. People will

purchase the shoes at high prices to keep them in a box; to never actually utilize them for their

intentional purpose. Needless to say to, wear them as shoes to walk in, wastefulness indeed. In

my opinion I think that they behave in this manner because it brings a sense of status to them.

Society is most definitely materialistic. In a greater scheme than shoes society has

become immensely materialistic that they have purchased homes well over what they know they

can afford just to create economic status. They have jeopardized their life savings to simply fit in

and be socially acceptable. In some cases going as far as taking what they had already secured

for their children¶s education. That in itself shows you the idiotic thinking that takes place when

materialism takes over intellectual thinking. Choosing material goods over education is

disturbing. Materialism often is accompanied with negative traits it does not just stop there.
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Selfishness, carelessness, and murder as Daisy has clearly presented to us. First by choosing

money over love, proving her selfishness. To the car accident showing carelessness to it ending

up in murder and waiving all responsibility. Daisy is the epitome of materialism.