Christianity In The Great Gatsby

1733 Words7 Pages
Christianity calls for its adherents to do two things: believe in God and emulate His nature. The latter requirement is where most people, sinful by nature, struggle. After all, demanding Christian tenets — of love and selflessness, of exchanging the worldly for the spiritual — are difficult to completely adhere to, especially in the materialistic environment that the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby are surrounded by. The 1920s, characterized by immense prosperity and the novelty of exciting new inventions and changing societal constructs, were not friendly to Christianity. Man began to believe he could live without God and stand on his own — rags-to-riches stories like those of the great American industrialists further…show more content…
So instead of seeking wealth, which he already has plenty of, Tom seeks power, which he obtains through his control of women. All of Tom Buchanan's relationships are characterized by possession — he does not see his women as people, but commodities to dominate. Tom doesn't even try to hide his wandering eyes — he doesn't care about people (including Daisy) knowing he has a mistress, and his restlessness is easily noticed by Nick, who observes, "I had no sight into Daisy's heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game" (6). And Tom's desire for control makes all his messy relationships literally result in brokenness — the chambermaid's arm, Myrtle's nose, Daisy's pinky…show more content…
It's appealing to imagine an indulgent lifestyle controlled by the id, but the reality is that society cannot sustainably function if everyone acts like a selfish child. And sure enough, the religion of greed goes kaput very quickly, with a stunning fall only paralleled by its meteoric rise — the Jazz Age is silenced by Black Tuesday. Genesis records seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine; likewise, here, a decade of decadence is succeeded by a decade of ruin. It is uncomfortable for people to realize that a price must be paid for their carelessness, that their religion is a sad parody of Christianity, with an illusory, selfish god who flees from the chaos he creates. Where was the hope, the confidence, the idealism of the 1920s when America needed it the most? Gone. Americans sink into a state of depression, both economically and psychologically. With the arrival of the Dust Bowl storms, they are literally clouded in suffocating darkness, wandering around lost like the Israelites were in the desert for 40

More about Christianity In The Great Gatsby

Open Document