In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes justice, power, greed, and betrayal, the American dream and so on. Each one of these themes is demonstrated through the relationships, which the characters have. Fitzgerald carefully sets up his novel into distinct social groups, in which each character fits. By creating distinct social classes old money, new money, and no money, Fitzgerald shows the differing in the way relationships turn out. This book offers a vivid peek of what life was like during the 1920s.
The first relationship introduced in the novel is Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom is a very powerful domineering man, very self-centered and self-absorbed. While Daisy is a charming, beautiful lady, with a thrilling voice, she is very self-centered as well. Tom and Daisys relationship is undergoing stress. When Daisy notices that her finger is hurt she says, You did it, Tom Thats what I get for marrying a brut of a man, a great big hulking physical specimen (Tom interrupts) I hate that word hulkingeven in kidding. Hulking, insisted Daisy. (P 16) Daisy knows how to push all of Toms buttons and how hard to push them. Daisy tells Nick how cynical she is about everything, she shows her views in the statement She told me it was a girl and I turned my head away and wept all right Im glad its girl. And I hope shell be a fool thats the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. (P 21). Its rumored that Tom is having an affair, Toms got some woman in New York. (P 19), and from what Daisy says she would just rather not notice what is really happening. Daisy and Tom never seem at peace with each other, just in an oblivious state where nothing can change them. They know their place is together; it suits society, they are perfectly matched. Daisy goes astray with Gatsby. As he (Tom) left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulling his face down, kissing him on the mouthYou know I love you. (P 122-123) Daisy uses Gatsby to rebel against Toms infidelity, but would never even consider leaving him, especially for an old flame. They are so materialistic; they except their flawed relationship as normal.
Myrtle and Tom have a very fiery relationship. She is his woman in New York. Tom wont be seen with her where any of his friends can see them, even on the train they even ride on different cars. Myrtle is the one who likes to show off. Their situation is awkward as she wants to marry him, however Tom shows his lack of respect for Myrtle when she wont stop mentioning Daisy by breaking her nose. Afterwards he treats her like a servant by paying her with gifts and mild affection. Myrtle thinks that by being around Tom and being liked by him she is better than her husband and puts herself in a high class then the people around her. This shows how truly ignorant she is and how come this relationship could never work.
Myrtle and Wilson have a very destructive relationship. Wilson is totally naive of Myrtles scandalous ways until he finds the expensive dog leash. He begins to doubt her and locks her in their room. Ive got my wife locked up in there, shes going to stay there till the day after tomorrow and then were going to move away. (P 143) She says she never loved him that she married beneath herself. Myrtle expects to run away with Tom and be happy, so she doesnt care how she treats Wilson. Their relationship was doomed from the beginning. Myrtle needed a strong man that could be his own person and challenge her, something Wilson could never be. While Wilson was so trusting, he needs someone to love him and take care of him, someone that Myrtle wont and cant be.
The last main relationship is the one between Daisy and Gatsby. This relationship did not work out. Gatsby had so many expectations. There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreamsnot through her own fault but because of colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his was. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart. (P 101) While Daisy wasnt happy in her marriage, she would never leave Tom for this low class fellow. For a small time, she too was caught up in his glorious dream, but she never believed in it the way Gatsby did. Gatsby lived his life to please Daisy; this was part of the relationships fatal flaw. He worked so hard to prove himself worthy, but in the process he lost who he really was. Daisy is so into self-satisfaction that in order to make herself feel better she uses Gatsby, not caring that she is toying with his heart. Both parties are to blame; they are so self-serving they never stop to look at the real world and how what they do affects others.
These relationships seemed to be flawed since there beginnings. The social class to which a person was in was very important to people in the 1920s. Fitzgerald shows us that money and status conquer over love. In todays world, I would like to believe that personality more than social class or financial status is the defining factor to which people get married.
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