The Great Gatsby

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The Character of Myrtle Wilson

                                               

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The novel implies several different characters, which all play an important role. I will now focus on one important character - the one of Myrtle Wilson.

Myrtle is described as "[...] in the middle thirties, and faintly stout [..]" (p.26, l. 11f). She has slight overweight, but carries "her surplus flesh sensuously as some woman can." (p.26, l.13f) She is George Wilson's wife, who owns the nearby garage and buys and sells cars for a living. It is obvious that love does not dominate their marriage. Myrtle and George Wilson live a life in the lower class, not being able to live a lavish life. In order to gain more money and reputation, Myrtle becomes Tom Buchanan's mistress. She knows that Tom is part of the upper class and she intends to receive more wealth and a higher position in society, if she becomes his lover. Tom is able to afford whatever Myrtle wishes for. 

Unfortunately exactly the aspects of a failed marriage, a distressed couple, an unofficial lover and the coincidental trip to New York City lead to Myrtle's demise. 

In my opinion Myrtle's character was chosen very precisely, because she depicts the woman, who aims at living the American dream. Myrtle is obsessed with wealth, financial independence and a good reputation. She seems ruthless and would probably do anything to gain glamour and an expensive lifestyle.  

 

Rachel am 25.1.14 20:54

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