Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Cardinal Virtues: The Great Gatsby
In the book of Proverbs, it is written that there are “six things the Lord hates, and the seventh His soul detests.” Those seven deadly sins are: lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, envy, and pride. In contrast to the seven deadly sins, there are seven heavenly virtues. These virtues are: purity, self-control, charity, diligence, forgiveness, kindness, and humility. In The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald designs the characters to reflect each deadly sin but also each heavenly virtue.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, in reflecting the era of the 1920s, satirizes the lavish lifestyle of the rich and represents the seven deadly sins through the characters that he develops. The first deadly sin is lust. In the novel, Tom Buchannan lusted after Myrtle just as Gatsby lusted after Daisy. The gluttony is apparent in the luxurious parties that Gatsby hosts at his West Egg mansion. Fitzgerald describes these parties as elaborate and grand as many entertainers, social icons, and even common people attend. Gatsby’s mansion itself, located in the new money area of West Egg, reflects the gluttony of the times. Its blue gardens and elegant design attracted an abundance of people. Gatsby’s other possessions such as his plane, his cars, and his boats also portray his wealth and Fitzgerald uses them to represent gluttony. Greed is ever-present in the novel as well. Gatsby wanted everything to impress Daisy. He hosted the lavish parties hoping to impress her and lure her into him. Tom Buchannan was also greedy as he wanted a relationship with both his wife and his mistress Myrtle, and could not give either of them up. The greed that is present in the novel corrupts Gatsby’s idealization of the “American Dream.” He does not do things the right way and he has collected his sum of money through improper practices. He is greedy in his perspective of Daisy, as he begins to view her as an object to be obtained....
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