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The Great Gatsby's 5 Top Money Lessons

Daisy and Gatsby do rekindle their romance for a short while, but Gatsby's fortune isn't enough to woo her away from her brutish husband, Tom, for good. It's hard to believe that Daisy really cares for Gatsby at all when, after he is murdered, she doesn't attend the funeral or even send a wire. Ouch. Clearly, Gatsby's inability to win Daisy back proves that when it comes to matters of the heart, money can only get you so far, and it certainly can't buy you true love.

Wealth Doesn't Prevent Loneliness

Despite Gatsby's great riches and packed parties, Nick Carraway comes to realize that his neighbor is a very lonely man with no close relationships in his life. Sadly, after Gatsby is murdered toward the end of the novel, Carraway struggles to round up people to attend the ill-fated millionaire's funeral. Gatsby's loyal party-goers are nowhere to be found (except for one nameless man), and it's evident that they simply used Gatsby to enjoy the revelry that his fetes provided. Even Gatsby's business partner, Meyer Wolfsheim, refuses to attend the funeral, explaining to Carraway that "[w]hen a man gets killed I never like to get mixed up in it in any way." In the end, it's evident that Gatsby did not have any true friends except Carraway and that his ruthless pursuit of wealth came before his desire to form meaningful relationships.

Cheating Your Way to the Top Rarely Goes Unnoticed

How Gatsby earned his wealth is a mystery to his party guests, and rumors abound about his past. Some say he was a "German spy during the war," while others insist he is a criminal who "killed a man." Gatsby himself claims that he attended Oxford and inherited money from his family, then lost it and made a fortune in the "drug business" and then the "oil business."

The truth, however, eventually comes out. After Tom Buchanan suspects that Gatsby is having an affair with his wife, he conducts an "investigation" and discovers that Gatsby made his money illegally through bootlegging. Gatsby clearly couldn't keep his criminal activity a secret, and the same is often true for those who make money through dishonest means today.
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