Wealth Corrupts

Subject: Wealth Corrupts
From: Dominic Nuñez
Date: 31 Mar 2017

The novel The Great Gatsby takes place in New York and is told by Nick Carraway, neighbor of Jay Gatsby, throughout most of the story. Jay Gatsby is a millionaire who lives extravagantly and throws grand parties every weekend. It is later revealed that he is in love with Nick’s cousin, Daisy, and that she is the whole reason for the parties in an attempt to impress her. Gatsby has Nick arrange a meeting with Daisy so that he may meet her. They soon begin an affair behind Daisy’s husband’s back, to which he soon catches on to the love that the two show for each other. Later, while the two are driving in Gatsby’s car, Daisy fatally hits a woman. The woman’s husband seeks revenge and shoots Gatsby dead, then kills himself.
Tom uses his social status and physical strength to be able to taunt Wilson, over power Myrtle, and cheat on his wife without feeling any guilt or remorse whatsoever (29-41). The issue here is represented by Tom carelessly acting without worrying how it affects others. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . .” (187-188). Nick clearly states here in the book the issue that the wealthy act without caring about the consequences and continue living on as normal.
Just as those in the novel, many successful individuals who have tons of money go about their lives without worrying about others, just acting however they want, perfectly happy as long as nothing bad happens to them. As coming from a middle class family, we’ve had to deal with issues that are caused by the actions of those who are wealthy and in a higher social class and who do have not had to worry about the effects of those actions. I chose this topic because it is an issue I often see every day on social media.
I’m writing to all those in the upper class who use their wealth and position to get away with they’re actions that affect others or actions that others would normally get punished for. Wealthy people in the upper class are more likely to break laws while driving, lie to get ahead, and cheat others (Upper Class People More Likely To Cheat). For example, “in a recent, highly publicized drunk driving trial in Texas, where a 16-year-old boy claimed that his family’s wealth should exempt him from responsibility for the deaths of four people. The boy got off with 10 years’ probation and therapy (which his family will pay for)” (This Is Your Brain On Money). Those who are wealthy are more likely to find a way by any means to get out of punishments.
The purpose of this letter in to change the thinking of the wealthy. It's to change the way they act and to make them consider how they're actions might hurt others even if they are unaffected by it. It is to start up conversation among the wealthy and get them to see what they are doing is wrong. And while many wealthy are guilty of these actions, this letter's purpose is to also clear up the misconception that all the wealthy are cold-hearted.
Just as in the novel The Great Gatsby, how Daisy and Tom seem so unaffected by the death of Gatsby, how careless they are about what happens to others, many other wealthy people in today’s society are just the same. They move on with their lives as if everything is okay, no matter how severely others may be affected. They feel perfectly comfortable shielded behind their money without having to deal with any consequences.