Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
During the twentieth-century, much changed with regards to society and culture. The post-depression times were filled with high lives of people riding the wave of economic success. This economic success brought about many changes in America. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald shows change in the characteristics of American upper class marriage lifestyle through Tom and Daisy not raising their own child, their extramarital affairs and the reasoning behind their marriage. Because of these three things, Daisy and Tom lead a very unhappy marriage.
Parents are a very important part of a child?s life. They nurture and teach the child what it needs to know. In Tom and Daisy?s case, their child is not nurtured. Their child is left in the care of a nurse and does not see much of her parents. ?With a reluctant backwards glance, the well disciplined child held to her nurse?s hand and was pulled out the door?.?(pg.123), shows that this child, even though it is very obvious that it does not want to be, is in the care of the nurse instead of her parents. Throughout the novel, Tom and Daisy?s daughter is talked of, but is rarely seen. The scene where the child is taken by the nurse out of the room is one of the only times that the daughter is shown in the presence of her parents. One odd thing shown by Daisy in this novel is her utter happiness that her daughter is a girl. ?I?m glad it?s a girl. And I hope she?ll be a fool-that?s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool? (pg.24) shows that Daisy sees the child as herself. If their daughter is a beautiful little fool, then she will get to where Daisy has got herself today. Tom, an hour after the birth of his daughter, was ?God knows where? (pg.23) showing that even though he just had his first child, it isn?t that important to him. Throughout The Great Gatsby, Daisy and Tom are not shown as good parents.
This novel is continuously filled with the shadows of an unhappy marriage. One of these shadows is the extramarital affairs that both Tom and Daisy have. Daisy does not have an extreme affair with Gatsby, but is indeed infatuated with him. Daisy shows her devotion to Gatsby late in the novel when she says, ?I love you now? (pg.139). Even though Daisy?s affair was not as serious as Tom?s, it obviously broke the sacraments of marriage that hold Tom and Daisy together. Tom on the other hand, has a very deep affair. Even though Daisy knows that Tom has a mistress, ? ?Why? ? she said hesitantly, ?Tom?s got some woman in New York? ? (pg.21), she does nothing to stop this affair or show that she is angry about it. Tom goes so far as to own an apartment in New York so that he and his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, have some place to go and be by themselves. Both Tom and Daisy, through their affairs, show that they have no respect for the vows that they made at their wedding.
The third and final change in marriage lifestyle is the reasoning behind marriage. Tom and Daisy?s marriage is an excellent example of this. The day of Tom and Daisy?s marriage Daisy was drunk upstairs before the wedding and proceeded to tell Jordan to ?tell ?em all Daisy?s change? her mine? (pg.83). After she was prodded and prepped by her mother, and later was married to Tom even though earlier that day she had not wanted to marry him. One of Daisy?s reasons to be married is to be in high society with Tom. With Tom, who is wealthy, she becomes part of a very select group of people all of whom hold the same social status. To Daisy, money is more important than love. This is reiterated many times in the novel by Daisy constantly reciting, ?I never loved him? and, ??how could I love him-possibly? (pg.138). Daisy continues to belittle Tom by adding insult to injury by saying, ?You?re revolting? (pg.138). Daisy married Tom for all the wrong reasons, and loves Gatsby very much. When Daisy says, ?You know I love you? (pg.122) to Gatsby, it proves that Daisy?s marriage to Tom is not a very first-class marriage.
Throughout The Great Gatsby, the characteristics of Daisy and Tom?s marriage are shown frequently. Through Tom and Daisy?s extramarital affairs, the reasoning behind their marriage and their lack of involvement in the upbringing of their child, we are shown the change in the characteristics of American upper class marriage lifestyle. Daisy and Tom represent a marriage that anyone would consider an unhappy one. With the constant theme of love in The Great Gatsby, it is surprising that the two main marriages in the novel do not consist of any love.