“My house looks well, doesn’t it?” he demanded.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter V) on Rap Genius


For all his wealth, Gatsby lacks a certain social refinement. He is aggressive in his shows of wealth, staging outrageous parties, wearing a pink suit (for chrissakes) and generally making sure his wealth is on prominent display.

This aggression is encapsulated in the verb ‘demanded’. Gatsby forces Nick at acknowledge his wealth, implying an insecurity that belies outward confidence. Note: rappers do this ALL THE TIME. Case in point, Jay Z in ‘Otis’, asking us to admire his watch collection.

There are countless other examples.

This subtly parallels Tom in Chapter 1 when Nick visits Daisy and Tom at their house.

“I’ve got a nice place here,” he said, his eyes flashing about restlessly.

Although Tom and Gatsby are extremely different in how they treat Daisy, they are both very concerned with wealth and appearances. No one in this world can escape this superficial materialism.

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