What happened to money does not buy happiness? From what I read, Tyson seems to portray that the more money you have, then the higher social status you seem to be and therefore the happier you are. After reading this chapter on Marxist criticism I still stand behind my motto of money does not get you happiness, but instead the people you have in your life and goals you accomplish.
The first part of Tyson’s chapter wanted to bring out the argumentative side in me because I do not believe that all wealthy people are happy and all poor people or even middle class people are unhappy with their life. I come from certainly not a wealthy family, but a stable financial family. Both of my parents worked hard for their money and still do to this day, but regardless of whether they own a mansion, a private plane, or a huge corporation they are still happy with the place that they stand financially.
Marxist criticism apparently tends to be a “Debbie downer” on the American dream. This is the part where I completely disagree with the Marxist criticism because I do not think that the American dream is a belief to make you wealthy, but more of a way to make you happy. Fulfilling a dream does not necessarily mean you need to own five houses or your own plane. It could simply mean starting your own small business and making enough money to where you are financially comfortable, not filthy rich.
Going back to money can’t buy you happiness, I think this comes across strongly in the characters of The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby himself is one of the prime examples of being rich and having a huge mansion, but not being satisfied with life. To me Gatsby is very empty inside and I think his empty house represents this. Without fulfilling his dream of getting Daisy back, he will not be happy regardless of how much money he acquires. Now, the reason I seem to agree with the Marxist criticism is because I truly believe that if this book had not been based in the roaring 1920s then it would have turned out differently. This was a time when everyone believed that money was the only path to happiness, so therefore whether rich or poor you tried to gain not only money, but power as well to try and fulfill this need of happiness. In my opinion Tyson does a good job of analyzing the fact that if this had not been the 1920s things might have turned out a little differently in The Great Gatsby.
To conclude what I am trying to get at here, I do not believe in Marxist criticism defining that you must be wealthy in order to be happy. Also, I might be living in a fantasy world, but do you really want to go along with the fact that all beliefs are a joke and that in hindsight they are just a failure? Do you really think that our beliefs of the American Dream is an unnatural way of viewing our world? I’m sorry, but I do not believe it is unnatural to want to fulfill a dream. But, I do agree with the fact that the economic status and society does effect our literature and how an author might write a book. I have very mixed feelings about Marxist criticism, does anyone else feel the same way?