What Does New Money vs Old Money Mean in the Great Gatsby?

Because their fortunes are based on old family connections, old money sticks out. New money is used to describe people who have made their fortune on their own. Back then, “old money” was regarded as superior (Daisy’s world). And “new money” was thought of as less educated and elegant (Gatsby’s world).

The novel’s second theme is various forms of prosperity. In The Great Gatsby, the conflict between “old money” and “new money” is essential. There’s a clear difference between those two worlds in this depiction. And even though the book focuses on several characters, their personalities are all interwoven with this idea. People living in East Egg fall into the category of those with “old money.” They’re conservative and pay close attention to customs and social obligations.

Meanwhile, the residents of West Egg are known as “new money.” They enjoy luxurious lifestyles and aren’t bothered by the network. Fitzgerald explains that old money is better because it makes them feel more privileged.

Daisy and Gatsby’s love is hampered by the distinction between “Old Money” and “New Money.” They can’t be together because Jay’s social standing is weak and fickle. He comes from “new money,” having created a fortune all on his own. Selling illicit alcohol while it was still illegal brought him a large sum of money. Daisy chooses to stay with Tom Buchanan, who has the backing of his wealthy family.

Everyone knows his family is extremely wealthy. Furthermore, he’s well-educated and comes from a respected background. Daisy chooses Tom as a life partner because of his social power, background, and money. Her family’s requirements come first for her, with love taking a back seat.


Old money generally refers to inherited wealth. Inherited wealth, in other words.

When a family is referred to as having old money, we’re usually speaking about assets that have been handed down from many generations. It can also be used to identify a social class.

Families who have inherited money are considered members of the upper class in society, more so than those who acquired it through new wealth. In the United States, there are numerous old money families, including the Rockefellers, Gettys, and Vanderbilts.

In France, the Rothschilds and the Wendels. The Agnelli in Italy, or any of the clans mentioned in the movie “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Individuals who did not inherit their money but created and earned it are referred to like new money.

People with new money are frequently assumed to be self-made millionaires and billionaires.

New money owners are frequently defined in the social status category as being lower than or equal to the upper class where old money proprietors belong, owing to the length of time the riches have been maintained. Some people refer to them as a lower-upper class.

Technology, sports, entertainment, and other industries are the primary sources of new money. These people include tech billionaires, athletes, movie and television stars, and others who became wealthy as a result of their own inventions.

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