Great Gatsby Theme And Character Anlysis Of

Great Gatsby: Theme And Character Anlysis Of Tom And Daisy Essay, Research Paper

Greed, Corruption, the Search of One?s

Self and the 1920’s

The characters’ search of their own identities

and the struggle that ensues is the most suffusive theme throughout The

Great Gatsby . The fact that we never really know the characters, and the

corrupt immoral things they do, directly represent the 20’s high society

lifestyle. The characters continued to cheat on their spouses, let money

become their obsession, and debated the American dream for the hopes of

one day obtaining happiness. But the fact remains that they have no true

morals or ideals of themselves as individuals. These are a group of people

who –no matter how cocky and self- confident they seem– have absolutely

no idea of what they are doing (as many men and women of the 20’s do not).

Tom and Daisy are two examples.

Daisy is a hospitable character who had

a love for parties and tended to lose herself in them and the drinking.

Daisy once said, “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon, and the

day after that, and the next thirty years?” This quote not only means she

lives for one day at a time never thinking of the future, but that she

truly has no idea of what to do with herself. She is like loose change

floating around wandering from party to party, man to man, friend to friend,

in a big house in East Egg with no sense of purpose. She once attempted

to plan something when she first reunited with Nick. She said, “What’ll

we plan? What do people plan?” meaning she has never had to make decisions

nor has she had much responsibility. Not only does she have no purpose,

she has no morals. She literally killed a woman and went home to eat cold

chicken. What more, her lover was killed and she left on a trip missing

his funeral. Show me a woman who has no morals or goals and I’ll show you

a woman who is searching for her own identity.

Tom Buchanan is a small man hiding in a

big house with an equally large ego. In fact, he once remarked that women

run around too much and meet the wrong kind of people. This statement is

both arrogant and ironic because he runs around with the wrong people,

and women run around with him- he being the wrong people. Also, when stating

this he was most likely referring to his wife, and subtly putting her down

for her relationship with Gatsby in a most conceited way. Tom is not a

caring or sympathetic man. He did not attend his mistress’s- Myrtle’s-

funeral. Tom cared a great deal about his image. Enough to uncover the

history and truth about his wife’s lover, and openly embarass him for it.

Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself

with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking

for happiness in nice cars (his is a ridiculous yellow luxury vehicle),

money and a good woman- be it he has to cheat on his wife to do so. But

what about if the money runs out? What happens if his wife finds another

lover also? or one of his women kills the other? One day he will look himself

in the mirror and not like what he sees, and only then can he finally forget

about the image and just be.

To best describe Daisy’s, Tom’s, and the

1920’s high society’s relentless quest for money and aimlessness existence

is Daisy and Tom’s own relationship. They were once young lovers with a

hold on the world like their hold on eachother but that too tarnished like

a gilded cup and saucer. Tom once carried Daisy down from the punch owl

so her feet wouldn’t get wet. But the weight of time has pulled at their

love until Tom was seen as a racist man reading The Rise of Colored Empires

who depends on a mistress to fulfill his need of lust and to be apart from

home life, leaving Daisy ignorant and smiling. She hoped her daughter would

be a fool of a girl so nothing would hurt her, a lesson she learned from

living with Tom. While their marriage seems to be falling apart Daisy finds

a man from her past- Gatsby-who has a heated desperation for her love-

enough so to acquire a huge home and beautiful shirts, and throw lavish

parties at the hope she will attend to add to his facade. But not even

the people who gave up their own lives for Tom or Daisy could change them.

For Nick. the eternal observer with his unbiased opinions once wrote, “They

were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures

and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness or whatever

it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess

they made…” Even with both spouses having affairs with a passion possibly

more than the love Tom and Daisy share, they stay together for the sole

purpose of money.

In conclusion, The Great Gatsby asks the

eternal question: what is the purpose of our lives? and Tom and Daisy answer

for the 1920’s high society, “I don’t know, but it has to do with money

and lots of it.” Throughout Daisy and Tom’s marriage they have grown and

they are still growing, but the question remains: who are they and what

are they here for? Until these two can think of others before themselves,

not hold exterior belongings with such high repute, and stop all the reputations

and images that surround them, they will just be two random, conceited,

rich people in a time dependent on classes and will never be individuals.


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