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The Importance Of Money English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1831 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Have you ever noticed that everything around you, it costs at least 1$? When I read “the great Gatsby” and “the motorcycle diaries” I thought: how much money do the characters have spent through their stories? Nowadays, the topic about money is important because, in a god or a bad way, everything is related with it, the books “The Great Gatsby” and “Motorcycle diaries” are not the exception to this rule. Could you imagine how could be the story of each book, if the economic situation of the main characters were different? Every character shows how much and how they prefer to spend their money. When we think about the character “Che” Guevara, we probably imagine him as a simple person without any car or a huge mansion, however if we mention the name Gatsby, we could imagine a person who has a lot of money, But how we can get those conclusions about their life style?

In the following essay you are going to appreciated, how the money change, define and make differences in the characters life who were mentioned before.

First of all, the contexts of both books are very different; “Motorcycle diaries” shows us an ambient where the people appreciated every single coin and the life expectancy of people is low, however “The Great Gatsby” shows us an ambient where the main problem of people is not related with money, they do not care about food neither about clothes. This analysis is going to begin whit the main character of an interesting book called “Motorcycle diaries”, in this book it can be found some attractive characters; one of them is Ernesto Guevara, He is a normal guy who used to live in Argentina, He decided to travel to The United States of America with his friend called Alberto Granado, but they chose to do it in a very strange way, they decided to make this journey in a motorcycle “Norton 500”, also called “La Poderosa”. That is a very important point in this analysis because that shows us that neither Ernesto or his friend Alberto, had enough money to do that journey, but that was not an excuse to stop their dreams to travel and discover the world. Wherever they go, they use their bike, because it was their main way to move from one part to another. The Motorcycles use very little fuel; also it must be mention that the fuel used in those years (1952-1954), was very cheap, or at least cheaper than now, so they did not had serious problems to move from one part to another, but when we talk about problems it must be mentioned how long, Ernesto and his Friend Alberto, spent on the floor, because of the fails of the motorcycle, the most important fall mentioned in the book was that one, where the brakes were broken, so they could not stop at time, crushing against some cows that were in the middle of the road. That accident could be totally avoided if Alberto and Ernesto had paid to repair the problems of “La Poderosa” before ride on it, also they could keep their bike in their journey, if they were able to pay to repair well the motorcycle, or at least continue traveling by motorcycle just buying another one. They used the motorcycle for long time, unfortunately it was broken and they must continue their travel by foot, trying to keep their journey Ernesto and Alberto had to hide themselves in a ship, because they did not have enough money to pay for a ticket. When they were discovered into the ship, they had to work in order to pay the journey, and the jobs were not very good at all, Ernesto had to clean the bathrooms of the ship, and Alberto had to peel potatoes. They also needed to ask for a ride a lot of times, to move from one part to another, sometimes they stay sleeping on the street with anything to get cover from cold nights just the clothes that they were wearing at that moment.

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On the other hand, we have a book called “The great Gatsby”, in this book it can be appreciated a character called Jay Gatsby. He never shown any problem to move from one point to another, he used to show his beautiful yellow car, which was the most expensive car at that time; Gatsby used that car not only to move from one part to another, but also express a symbol of status. That yellow car was comfortable and never had to be repair, Gatsby could drive at very high speed without been worried about anything more than look great in his beautiful car. Also it must be mentioned that the car of Gatsby was “the lethal weapon” which was used to murder Myrtle, who was Wilson’s wife and the lover of tom.

Another point to analyze is the importance of food in the stories, which has direct relation with money. When Ernesto Guevara decided to travel, he never thought in food as a problem of his journey, he just carried few things to eat in his motorcycle, at the beginning they had food to survive no more than 3 days, however they used the collaboration of kind people to survive and eat every time that they need to. The book show us that, they journey was possible to do thanks to the help of the people who gave them food. Two of the times that they had food thanks to the hospitality of the people were “It was close to nightfall when we left, but not before accepting an invitation to a typical Chilean meal: tripe and another similar dish, all very spicy, washed down with a delicious rough wine. As usual, Chilean hospitality wiped us out.” (Motorcycle diaries, P.60). And “We didn’t pay a cent the whole time we were there and he lavished hospitality on us.” (Motorcycle diaries, P.70). They did not pay for food because they did have any money to spend in it. If they were hungry they just had to wait until someone invited them to eat. In the case of “The Great Gatsby” it can be appreciated big amounts of food. Gatsby never was worried about food; he always ate what his employees prepare for him. He always realized big meetings with tasty food. He always had money to buy food even for his friends.

Now it is the turn to talk about sleep. “Che” Guevara used to sleep everywhere, when I say everywhere, I say it literary. He had slept on the floor, in a tent even without any blanket to cover himself. There is a characteristic part of the story where Ernesto share his blanket “The couple, numb with cold, huddling against each other in the desert night” (Motorcycle diaries, p. 77) “they had not one single miserable blanket to cover themselves with, so we gave them one of ours” page 78. That part of he story, show us that they had to felt cold sleeping and sharing their blankets. They did not had money to pay for a room and stay sleeping without been worried about feel cold. Alberto and Ernesto almost never paid to sleep in a comfortable place; they used to sleep where the hospitality of people allow it. They even slept 2 nights in a fire station located in Los Angeles, Chile. However on the other hand, there is Gatsby, who lived a very comfortable mansion, which was afforded thanks to the money of Gatsby. He never mentions nothing about feel cold neither sleep on the street. He had a bed and a big mansion, things that “Che” Guevara never mentioned in his journey.

Another important point are the parties mentioned in both books, Ernesto had mentioned a villa dance, there they drank wine and dance with the women from there, A cheap party with cheap drinks and a lot of fun. Another important party was the birthday of Ernesto, which was celebrated in the dinner room of the colony where doctors use to help people with leprosy cases; the doctors and the patients celebrated his birthday with Peruvian national drink “Pisco”. While Gatsby Celebrated his parties in his mansion, with big amounts of expensive drinks and food. Gatsby was known for his big parties, some people even does not know him, but that was not an excuse to be absent of the parties of Gatsby. Those parties shown the money that Gatsby had, he did not care about how much each of those parties cost, however he used them with the hope to meet with his love Daisy, in one of this parties.

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Finally it can be conclude, that “Che” Guevara did not have a big car to drive everywhere, but fix his bike and walk through his journey, created an ambient where he could meet very interesting people and their stories, the story cold be so different if they were traveling by bus or plane, they could not share their life with other people and the story probably could be so boring, without any adventure to tell. On the other hand the car of Gatsby is an important Part of his story, because it shows that Gatsby can afford anything he wants, but he never though that his car could be the end for him, that is because Wilson though that Gatsby killed Myrtle whit his yellow car, so Wilson kill Gatsby for revenge, the problem was that Daisy was driving the car and not Gatsby.

Eating in different places was very good for Ernesto because he could know and he could be known by people who helped him when he needs it. Gatsby used to eat at home and be alone most of the time, he was not known by many people as Guevara was. Gatsby Had a huge mansion where he could stay and live without any problem, however he lived in a bubble he does not care if there were people living and sleeping on the streets, he did not care about the problems of the world like people who abuse of their power and people with money who have no mercy with hungry persons. Guevara could lived and known a lot of cases where the people had no place to sleep or live. He could transmit the unfair conditions of poor people who are ignored by everyone. “Che” Guevara celebrated and shares without any money but with friends and fun. Gatsby instead, used to prepared parties but he always was absent in his own parties, he did not use to celebrate with the people that he invited, that is why the people even did not know him. The parties show the big amount of money of Gatsby, he always prepares parties, and he was very famous for his big and interesting parties, but nobody knows him personally.

The money has an important role in our lives, allows us to see the world from different points of view, this essay show us that the less money you have, the more human you are, That is because, Guevara did not have enough money to buy anything, but he did not care about that, he just did what he thought to do and show us the real and a very interesting point of view of Latin America. Gatsby show us that money did not make him happy, he could afford anything he want to, but he could not afford his real and great love, Daisy. If the character of the books were in a different economic condition, probably the stories should be very different, or in some cases, there would not be any story to tell.


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