If The Great Gatsby had taken place in Sri Lanka, the hype surrounding F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel would have been non-existent. The enthralling love affairs between the characters that are the foundation of the story would have been absent from the plot because Sri Lankan culture is grounded on Buddhism. Buddhist guidelines emphasize the thought that attachment leads to suffering, a theme that appears habitually throughout the novel. Most characters in the novel face this attachment, but at such a degree that they are unable to detach themselves from the thing they desire. The collective inabilities of Wilson, Gatsby and Tom to let go of the people they love are key contributors to Gatsby’s murder.
Wilson’s ineptitude to admit that Myrtle, his wife of 12 years, no longer loves him causes emotional suffering and plays a role in Gatsby’s murder. Wilson discovers that “Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him,” (111) that she shared with Tom. Wilson, in an attempt not to lose Myrtle forever, locks her in her room so that she can’t run away. His plan is to keep her closed off from the world for a few days and then “she is going whether she wants to or not” (111). Wilson plans on moving away with her so that the two can start a new life, with no one to get in between them. Although Wilson thinks that this will save his relationship, he is inept to acknowledge that he can’t do anything for them. Myrtle, trying to escape from Wilson, runs into the street and is hit by a car, Gatsby’s car. This causes Wilson to mistakenly believe that Gatsby is the one who killed Myrtle. Using an “eye for an eye” mentality Wilson wants the same consequences to be inflicted on Gatsby and seeks revenge by murdering him. Had Wilson been able to let go of Myrtle, he most likely wouldn’t have felt anger towards Gatsby. But his ineptitude to let go causes him to feel anger towards Gatsby because he has problems imagining a life without Myrtle. Wilson’s incapacity to acknowledge Myrtle’s...
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