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Daisy And Gatsbys Relationship Essay

Great Gatsby essay on relationships

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?Great Gatsby essay: to what extent are relationships doomed Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is set in America of the 1920’s, a predominantly materialistic society revolving around wealth and status above all else. Fitzgerald depicts this obsession with money and luxury through complicated relationships full of trouble, infidelity and sorrow.

The relationships Fitzgerald portrays all symbolize the materialism and hedonism of the age; each relationship is doomed to a certain extent based on the social class of each character. In the aftermath of WW1 America was a society rising commercially and economically, the idea of the ‘American Dream’ was rampant and with it an obsession with money. Love was deemed an unimportant emotion and relationships were doomed because they were based on materialism, illustrated through characters such as Myrtle and Tom.

Tom and Myrtle’s affair is based on mutual exploitation, Tom treats Myrtle as an object while she uses him for his money. Her shallow nature is evident when she describes the first time she met Tom, “he had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, I couldn’t keep my eyes off him”, and when she speaks with contempt about her husband George, “he borrowed someone’s suit to get married in”. Her judgement of people is purely based on their material worth, a perfect depiction of society of that time.

The expensive dog leash Tom buys Myrtle symbolizes their relationship, she believes that he might one day leave Daisy however Tom sees Myrtle only as his pet obvious through his degrading treatment, such as in New York when “making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. ” In the end Myrtle’s love for the idea of wealth and luxury which Tom represented was what got her killed, the epitome of failure.

Even with Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship in the end Daisy’s materialistic nature is what prevailed and she chose to leave Gatsby and retreat into “the wealth that imprisoned and preserved safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor”, not even sending a flower to his funeral. The theme social class/status had an enormous influence on the failure of relationships in the novel. Both major relationships were doomed predominantly by the idea of the separation between social classes. In Tom nd Myrtle’s case there is an extreme separation, Myrtle represents the ‘Valley of the Ashes’ a place of “grotesque gardens where ashes take the form of houses” while Tom represents the “white palaces of the fashionable East egg. ” With Daisy and Gatsby however it is a more subtle conflict, the East egg and its inhabitants represent old money, aristocracy and elegance, a stark contrast to the West egg who’s inhabitants were rich from ‘new money’ full of parties and corruption depicting the ‘jazz age’.

The people of the East felt morally superior, when Daisy attended one of Gatsby’s parties she was “appalled by the West egg” and its “raw vigour”. The bay between the two eggs was metaphoric for the social divide which separated them, Gatsby for one could not cross it while Daisy was not willing, and therefore their relationship was doomed. The nature of society of the American 1920’s was what caused relationships to be doomed, the only relationships even slightly successful were those of convenience and similar social standing such as Nick and Jordan’s and to an extent the Buchanan’s.

Nick and Jordan came to be together out of sheer circumstance, from early on Nick found Jordan “incurably dishonest” and questioned her moral values, however they stayed together because it was convenient for their social situation. Although they did not end romantically their relationship was hardly a failure, ultimately the difference in morals separated them. On the other hand Tom and Daisy’s relationship was incredibly flawed, however they suited each other in terms of social class.

They both had the same shallow views, as Nick states in the end, “they were careless people, Tom and Daisy, they smashed things up and creatures and retreated back into their money and vast carelessness. ” The ending of the novel reinforces the idea that in such a morally corrupt society only relationships concerning those of the same social standing could work even in the slightest, and even so those relationships were doomed to a certain extent.

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Throughout his novel Fitzgerald shows the reader that love is essential to a fully functioning relationship through portraying the failure of relationships based on materialism. All the major relationships presented in the novel were doomed to an extent based on differences in social class/status and obsession with wealth and success. The overriding theme of moral decay in America of the 1920’s determined the nature of society and its relationships, most of which were doomed to failure.

Author: Neal Farren

in The Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby essay on relationships

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