Tragic Myrtle

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 2 (432 words) Published: March 5, 2006
In The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to use precise diction and textual evidence in chapter 2 to bring to life the figure of Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle is portrayed as a disappointed tragic figure ; a person who is materialistic and uses objects to show herself and others that she is cape able of being what she pleases.

The author uses his dexterous ordain of diction to select particular words to emphasize the tragic image of Myrtle. She is trying her best to be a woman of high-class , but poorly portrays this life of a "rich" woman. Fitzgerald describes Myrtle's house as "distasteful" and "crowed" the furniture "entirely to large. Myrtle considers herself to be sophisticated and of high maintenance because she purchases cheap things fro the drug store. She reads the "Town tattle" she buys "cold-cream" and "a small flask of perfume," to make herself feel as though she were a sophisticated woman of the East Egg. Through this diction, Fitzgerald precisely portrays Myrtle as a materialistic, superficial and non- sophisticated woman trying to help her tragic figure.

Through setting Fitzgerald employs textual detail when he describes the valley of ashes which feeds Myrtle's tragic figure. Rather than simply telling his readers she lives in the slums, he uses textual evidence to link the barren valley of ashes to Myrtle's character. Fitzgerald refers to the valley of ashes as a " fantastic farm" in which "ashes grow like wheat," when in fact it is just a dumping ground for industrial waste. Those words portray Myrtle's tragic figure in the sense that she has to live in a representation of the high-class, lavish East Egg. The valley of ashes is also a representation of the situation of the poor. For example, the author portrays Myrtle to be a tragic figure that wants to have all the riches in life; unfortunately, she is set back and in a way shunned out of that category because she is just another one of those "ash-grey men" lost, somewhere, within those...
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