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...
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