In novel “The Great Gatsby,” the predominant theme is money cannot buy love or happiness. This theme is shown through five symbols: Gatsby’s golden toilet seat, Myrtles dress, Gatsby’s house, the conflicts at Gatsby’s parties, and Gatsby’s act of replacing the woman’s dress that ripped at one of his parties. The description of Gatsby’s golden toilet seat is just one example of the countless amount of luxurious material goods that Gatsby has collect over the years; none of which he truly cares about. “His bedroom was the simplest room of all—except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold”(97). The main reason why he gets these expensive possessions is to impress Daisy and to give others the impression that he is a wealthy respectable man. He thinks that the only thing that was missing from his relationship with Daisy five years ago is wealth. Even if this were the case, it would be very wrong that their relationship only survived because of Gatsby’s wealth. This is a demonstration on Gatsby’s very superficial outlook on life and every aspect of it. He thinks that money is the answer to all his problems and if he has it, that mean that he should be happy, which clearly isn’t true.
Another symbol in this novel that Myrtle’s dress, that money cannot buy love/happiness. Myrtle pretends that this dress that she wears when she is with Tom, “It’s just a crazy old thing,’ she said. ‘I just slip it on sometimes when I don’t care what I look like,’” (Fitzgerald 31). This quote shows that Myrtle changes from a poor mechanic’s wife to a rich person’s wife. But the dress does not make her happy, as she rants at Tom saying “Daisy, Daisy, Daisy” and then Tom punches her in the face. She was not happy about that, and that shows even that Myrtle is in this fancy dress, she is not happy.
The description of Gatsby’s house, from the beginning of the book to the end shows how money cannot buy love and or happiness. In the beginning of the book Gatsby’s house was described as a mansion, huge and must have been so expensive to buy, which was when Gatsby believed that his dream could come true. At the end of the book when he finally realizes that his dream is a fantasy, his house is described as lonely, dark, gloomy.
At Gatsby’s parties rich people go there to have fun and to dress to impress, but at the parties when Nick is walking around and hears snippets of conversations of people, and they are always arguing and fighting with one another. That shows that money cannot buy happiness or love.
One of Gatsby’s guests at his party ripped her dress, and so Gatsby replaced it with a far more expensive one. Nick overheard one of her conversations at the party, and she was surprised that Gatsby did this, and one woman thought that is was creepy that he did do that. She thought that he was trying to buy her off. That shows that Gatsby tried to buy that lady off, and it did not work, and money did not buy happiness in this situation. The predominant theme of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” was that money cannot buy love or happiness. That was shown through these 5 symbols: Gatsby’s golden toilet seat, Myrtles dress, Gatsby’s house, the conflicts at Gatsby’s parties, and Gatsby’s act of replacing the woman’s dress that ripped at one of his parties.
Fitzergald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York; Scribners, 1953