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Great Gatsby By Fitzgerald Essay Research Paper

Great Gatsby By Fitzgerald Essay, Research Paper 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

Great Gatsby By Fitzgerald Essay, Research Paper

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

destruction of their morals, is Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is the supposed hero of this

novel "who believes that the riches he traded for honor can buy love and

happiness and bring back the past"(Vogue, December 1999). He too abandons

his morals; illegally earning the money that he believes will win back the heart

of his lost love Daisy. When they had a love affair long ago, she wouldn’t marry

him because of his financial standing. The details of his business are sketchy,

when asked he usually ignores the question. Tom though, after some investigating

finds the true nature of his profession. "’I found out what your ‘drug

stores’ were.’ He turned to us and spoke rapidly. ‘He and this Wolfshiem bought

up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol

over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts, I picked him for a bootlegger

the first time I saw him and I wasn’t far wrong.’" (Fitzgerald, 141).

Gatsby makes it his life’s mission to become rich, thinking this will be sure to

win Daisy over. Daisy is married though, and his life’s ambition of having Daisy

fails. Gatsby surrenders his morals by breaking the law to earn the riches he

thinks will buy her love but it is done for nothing, Daisy was not won over with

his new wealth. A final character that succumbs to the lure of wealth and

discards their morals is Daisy. Daisy is involved in a marriage with a man she

is unsure of her love for. Tom is unfaithful, and has been involved in several

affairs, yet Daisy remains married to him. Long ago when she was involved with

Gatsby, she had ended the relationship because he was not of her "social

standing" and was therefore unfit to marry her. Instead she married the

wealthy Tom Buchanan. "In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago with

more pomp and circumstance then Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a

hundred people in four private cars and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach

Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at

three hundred and fifty thousand dollars." (Fitzgerald, 80) Right from the

beginning Daisy had already had second thoughts about the marriage, getting

completely drunk the night before and crying, but she went through with the

marriage regardless. By not following her heart and marrying her true love, she

abandoned her morals and married a man based on his wealth. In F. Scott

Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows how the morals of society

have been destroyed. The different characters each through their actions betray

their morals to achieve a different status in society. Myrtle, a middle class,

married woman, becomes immoral by having an affair in an attempt to join an

upper social class. Jay Gatsby, a wealthy young man who has earned his wealth

through breaking the law as an effort to win back a lost love. And Finally

Daisy, a woman who marries a man only because of his enormous wealth instead of

a poorer man she truly loves. In the end, giving up their morals is useless,

they each fail at achieving the status they desire.

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