A Pervasive Savagery: The Narcissism Of The Super Wealthy

1987 words - 8 pages

There are many similarities that can be drawn between the rich of the 20s and the rich of today. There is supposedly a dream that Americans can rise from the bottom to the top, and be the happiest people in the world. But, Jimmy Gatz the poor farm boy who rises from the clutches of poverty to the ranks of the super wealthy was never content. Gatsby throws lavish parties, yet he is never truly happy, and lives in ignorance of the conditions that affect the impoverished. Gatsby lived through conditions at a farm in North Dakota that should happen to no one, but that does not excuse the attitude that he has adopted towards the poor. That attitude is strikingly similar to the attitude that today’s super wealthy class within America that has been accepted as a norm. Jay Gatsby shows the narcissism that can link him to the rich throughout the modern world. Super wealthy, crooked businessman Jay Gatsby has many behaviors that bond the imaginary character from the 20s with real people of the twenty-first century.
The super wealthy society in the modern world has attempted to buy political influence by contributing millions towards campaigns. Meet Charles Koch, billionaire owner of Koch Industries Inc. who singlehandedly contributed over “2.2 million dollars” (Gilson) to political campaigns in the last election cycle. Gatsby has bought out the police commissioner and a senator in an attempt to gain freedom from the laws that are supposed to govern all the United States’ people. Gatsby wants to be able to act nefariously while the authorities turn a blind eye. According to Gatsby he “was able to once do the commissioner a favor.” (Fitzgerald 73) A presumption that this favor involved some sort of monetary sum that managed to accommodate the commissioner is warranted. In modern times, Koch acts in the same way when he donates to state and federal level candidates. The Koch’s expect to be repaid with a voice in Congress that they can use to influence politics in their favor. This is similar to Jay Gatsby’s expenditures on parties and alcohol to accommodate senators at his extravagant parties. Gatsby expects these lawmakers to turn a blind eye to his shameful activities. Gatsby wants the lawmakers to not raise concern with his illegal business dealings, and expects them not to pass laws that may conflict with his unlawful actions. There is a perceptible parallel that lies between Jay Gatsby and the rich of present day society. The two headliners of these groups Jay Gatsby and Charles Koch both have invested masses of money, so that they may acquire influence and power.
The super wealthy may have money, and they may be able to use that money to buy political influence, but there is one thing that the rich cannot buy. Happiness is one state of mind that no matter how much money Jay Gatsby may have accumulated he will not be able to attain. Members of the highest class, regardless of their money are not happy. Gatsby believes that his sheer wealth and his...

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