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Danielle Burke

Mrs. Pastore

English 11 Honors

27 February 2017

A Modern Person Strives for Wealth

Throughout the centuries, people in this world have strived for different things. Whether

it be love or safety, the desire for these things have changed. For example, in the modern world,

modern people strive for wealth. Although some may say that modern people do not care solely

about wealth, one could argue that everyone wants to be wealthy because everyones goal in life

is to be successful for themselves or for their family. Furthermore, people do not want to be seen

as lesser than others. Therefore, people want expensive houses and cars to make others jealous of

them and because they want others to aspire to be like them. Also, being wealthy is another way

for people to get others to like them and want to be with them. This is supported by the fact that

Gatsby wants to be wealthy for Daisy in the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In

the novel, Gatsby is in love with Daisy and wants her to love him back really badly. In order to

achieve her love, Gatsby works hard and becomes really wealthy because that was the only way

Daisy would like him back. However, Daisy does not truly love him back and only really cares

for his money. Therefore, Gatsbys want to be wealthy for Daisy shows how most people are

money-hungry and so modern people in the modern world strive for wealth.

In addition, Winter Dreams, by F. Scott Fitzgerald also includes examples of how modern

people strive for wealth. For example, Judy Jones, one of the main characters, has obsession with

money and wealth. While talking to Dexter, she tells him, But Ive just had a terrible afternoon.
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There was a man I cared about, and this afternoon he told me out of a clear sky that he was poor

as a church-mouse. (Winter Dreams lines 362-364). Judy does not care about love or the man,

she only cares about money and when she found out she was poor, she says she has had a

terrible afternoon. Also, as the conversation between Judy and Dexter goes on, she

immediately asks Dexter, Are you poor? (Winter Dreams 423 line 378). After responding that

he was not and that he was actually one of the richest men of his age in the Northwest, she

becomes very excited. This proves that modern people strive for wealth. Judy Jones only cared

about money and was so interested in others wealth so she can use them for that. In this case,

Judy strived for wealth so she could have nice things. Overall, modern people in the modern

world strive for wealth.

Another example of a work that shows how modern people strive for wealth is, The Ends

of the World as We Know Them, by Jared Diamond. In Diamonds argument, he writes, Its a

thought that often occurs to me here in Los Angeles, when I drive by gated communities,

guarded by private security patrols, and filled with people who drink bottled water, depend on

private pensions, and send their children to private schools. By doing these things, they lose the

motivation to support the police force, the municipal water supply, Social Security and public

schools. (Diamond 592 lines 176-180). What Diamond is saying is that people care solely about

money. Modern people want to have money so they can afford things such as bottled water and

private schools and do not care about municipal water supply or public schools. This is affecting

the poorer people in the world because while these people have private pensions and gated

communities, some people are living on the streets with no food or water at all. Therefore,
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modern people strive for wealth because they want expensive things so they can live their life in


Lastly, the poem, The Death of the Hired Man, by Robert Frost, proves how modern

people in the modern world strive for wealth. In this poem, a man named Silas works for another

man named Warren. As Warren is talking to his wife, Mary, about Silas, he says, When he

begins like that, theres someone at him / Trying to coax him off with pocket-money, - / In

haying time, when any help is scarce. / In winter he comes back to us. Im done. (Frost 448

lines 27-30). This shows that Silas does not really care about his job or working, he only cares

about the money he gets. This proves that most people do not work because they enjoy it, they

work because they want money. Some may say hard work is important in the modern world,

however, wealth is more important because all people want is money and people can cheat

themselves into becoming wealthy without even putting in any work at all. Just as Silas would do

anything to get money and puts in little work and leaves to other places when work is hard for

him. Overall, modern people strive solely for wealth and do not care about hard work.

To conclude, a modern person in modern society strives for wealth. People may say that

love, hard work, and safety are important, but the texts, The Great Gatsby, Winter Dreams, The

Ends of the World as We Know Them, and The Death of the Hired Man, prove how wealth

overules them all. People in the modern world want to be wealthy so they can afford expensive

things and support themselves and their family. People around the world aspire to be celebrities

and envy those who are wealthy because they want to be wealthy themselves. Modern people are

very materialistic and want nice cars and houses to make others jealous and to prove to

themselves that they are above others. For example, I strive for wealth because my goal in life is
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to find a well-paying job and be successful so I can provide for my family. I work hard in school

just so I can be successful and hopefully wealthy in the future. Overall, modern people solely

strive for wealth and wealth is the most important thing in the modern world.
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Works Cited

Diamond, Jared. The Ends of the World as We Know Them. Collections. Orlando: Houghton

Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 587-93. Print.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.

Frost, Robert. The Death of the Hired Man. Collections. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,

2015. 447-52. Print.

Frost, Robert. Winter Dreams. Collections. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

413-33. Print.