The Great Gatsby and the Jelly Bean

The Great Gatsby and the Jelly Bean

“The Great Gatsby” is a novel that has similarities and differences in terms of themes with his work, “The Jelly Bean.” “The Jelly bean,” is more focused on the issue of men without money and without work while in, “The Great Gatsby,” the issue of money and wealth is widely spoken about (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925). The theme of the novel leans more towards the ability of money to buy happiness. However, money can always be taken away and if it was the source of happiness, then happiness is also taken away as well. “The Great Gatsby,” represents the time when people valued money more than anything (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925). It was during this time that Fitzgerald was able to place his story and depict the behaviour of people in the characters of Tom and Daisy. In “The Jelly Bean,” the issue of wealth is not explicitly shown because the characters in the story are not workers and they have no jobs (Fitzgerald, The Jelly Bean). Money can buy happiness that is not long lasting, it can be taken away.

The idea of wealth and work was tied tightly together by the character of Gatsby who does not discriminate or define what type of work is good as long as it brings in money. (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925)This is why he works with criminal gangs which helps him get rich. This is seen in the events where Daisy and Tom only work with and respond to factors that are likely to earn them money. Daisy owns a pearl necklace which is an indication of the wealth in her possession. In, “the Jelly Bean,” Jim is drawn to Nancy who uses him to clear her gambling problems. (Fitzgerald, The Jelly Bean) He helps and hopes that he can make an honest woman out of her which he soon sees cannot happen. At this point, the two stories show a contrast in the fact that Gatsby is wealthy but happiness is not permanent in his life while Jim had a chance to grow but the society was not receptive of his success.

The Gatsby and Jim have a common problem, their happiness and achievement of their goals is determined by their ability to have money. At the end of both stories, the money factor is the most important. Jim does not fit into the society well in term of style and lifestyle choices. (Fitzgerald)During his time, the roaring twenties were the times that the people had started discovering investments and how to make money. It was important for the people in the society to get rich and at this time when the people in that time realised the need for classism. People started realizing that money made people better, this was an indication of the rot in the society. The story of Gatsby and Jim speaks about the years during which the United State was undergoing an industrial revolution. The society grew divided into three social classes (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925). The working class, the people who had just grown rich and the people who had money all their lives.

The Gatsby and Jim characters fit perfectly in the time during which the stories were written. The Jazz Ages were times during which the society was volatile and undergoing many changes at the same time. It was important to realize that the roaring twenties were times during which the society was changing rapidly and that was the time during which the society was being divided by wealth (Allan, 2014).


Fitzgerald, F. S. (n.d.). The Jelly Bean. Retrieved from age/5765/the-jellybean/

Wall Street Crash of 1929. (n.d.). Retrieved from http;//

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