The Great Gatsby
Wealth Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World's Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people – with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe. (4.113)
Meyer Wolfsheim fixed the World Series, an enormous crime that Nick thinks is like "a burglar blowing a safe." But the burglar gets caught; Wolfsheim uses his wealth and underworld connections to stay squeaky clean. Apparently you don't have to be high class to benefit from your wealth.
"Her voice is full of money," he said suddenly.
That was it. I'd never understood before. It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it… high in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl […]. (7.99)
What would a voice full of money sound like? Maybe something like this. Whatever it sounds like, the point is that money isn't something you can separate from the body. If you're born with money, you're actually born with money. That's why everyone knows Gatsby's faking it.
"Self-control!" Repeated Tom incredulously. "I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea you can count me out […] Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they'll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white." (7.229)
Um, okay, Tom. (1) Pot, meet kettle. (2) We see just how important wealth isn't. All the money in the world can't make Gatsby "worth" Daisy.
P.S. This is dated and totally racist. In case you didn't catch that.