Moral Destruction in the Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby: The Destruction of Morals

In The Great Gatsby, the author F. Scott Fitzgerald shows the destruction of morals in society. The characters in this novel, all lose their morals in attempt to find their desired place in the social world. They trade their beliefs for the hope of being acceptance. Myrtle believes she can scorn her true social class in an attempt to be accepted into Ton's, Jay Gatsby who bases his whole life on buying love with wealth, and Daisy, who instead of marrying the man she truly loves, marries someone with wealth. The romance of money lures the characters in The Great Gatsby into surrendering their values, but in the end, "the streets paved with gold led to a dead end" (Vogue, December 1999).

The first example of a character whose morals are destroyed is Myrtle. Myrtle's attempt to enter into the group to which the Buchanans belong is doomed to fail. She enters the affair with Tom, hoping to adopt his way of life and be accepted into his class to escape from her own. Her class is that of the middle class. Her husband, Wilson, owns a gas station, making an honest living and trying his best to succeed in a world where everything revolves around material possessions. With her involvement in Tom's class, she only becomes vulgar and corrupt like the rich. She loses all sense of morality by hurting others in her futile attempt to join the ranks of Tom's social class. In doing so, she is leaving behind her husband who loves her. Myrtle believes he is no longer good enough for her. "'I married him because I thought he was a gentleman.' She said finally. 'I thought he knew something about breeding but he wasn't fit enough to lick my shoe.'" (Fitzgerald, 39). With the hope of being accepted into an upper social class, Myrtle's morals and prior beliefs are gone, being replaced by the false impression that by betraying her loving husband, this new social world will embrace her.

A second character that falls victim to the...
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