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The Role of Myrtle and George Wilson
Transcript of The Role of Myrtle and George Wilson
Myrtle is an encouragement for Daisy to have an affair with Jay Gatsby/cheat on Tom
“You mean to say you don’t know?” said Miss Baker, honestly surprised. “I thought everybody knew. ‘I don’t.’ ‘Why-‘she said hesitantly. ‘Tom’s got some new woman in New York’… ‘It couldn’t be helped!’ cried Daisy with tense gaiety.”(pg.20)
“Daisy loved me when she married me and she loves me now.’ ‘No,’ said Gatsby, shaking his head. ‘She does though. The trouble is that sometimes she gets foolish ideas in her head and doesn’t know what she’s doing.’ He nodded sagely. ‘And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.’ ‘You’re revolting.’ Said Daisy.”(pg.125)
Argument 2: George not only kills Gatsby, but also leads Myrtle to her death.
"I told her she might fool me but she couldn't fool God. I told her to look to the window _ ... and said 'God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God' (pg. 152)
“’Listen,’ said Tom, shaking him a little. ‘I just got here a minute ago, from New York. I was bringing you that coupe we’ve been talking about. That yellow car I was driving this afternoon wasn’t mine – do you hear? I haven’t seen it all afternoon.’” (pg 134)
Myrtle and George Wilson are the most destructive characters in the novel, the Great Gatsby, due to the fact that they break apart lovers and influence negative thoughts.
Secondary Source #1
George Wilson feels henpecked by his wife Myrtle. A victim of circumstance, he has a poor life and can only work to make a living and must ask the man who is having an affair with his wife, Tom Buchanan, for a car with which to move away. Full of anger and frustration about his wife's disloyalty, Wilson acts on his impulses and kills someone who is just as much a victim of the Buchanans as he. According to Nick, "he was a blonde, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome. When he saw us … hope sprang into his light blue eyes." He is a true product of the wasteland between the suburban world of wealth and New York City (Cengage)
Myrtle symbolizes “The American Dream”, while George symbolizes “The American Nightmare” in this time period.
“She had changed her to a brown figured muslin, which stretched tight over her rather wide hips as Tom helped her to the platform in New York. At the news-stand she bought a copy of Town Tattle and a moving picture magazine and in the station drug-store some cold cream and a small flask of perfume. Upstairs, in the solemn echoing drive she let four taxicabs drive away before she selected a new one, lavender coloured with grey upholstery, and in this we slid out from the mass of the station into the glowing sunshine.” (pg.29)
“I think it’s cute,’ said Mrs. Wilson enthusiastically. ‘How much is it?’ He looked at it admiringly. ‘That dog will cost you ten dollars.’… ‘It’s a bitch,’ said Tom decisively. ‘Here’s your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it.’ (pg.30)
“The only crazy I was, was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out; ‘Oh, is that your suit’ I said. ‘This is the first I ever heard about it.’ But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon.” (pg.37)
Secondary Source #2
Ann Douglas writes of the twenties to be, "when America seized the economic and cultural leadership of the West" (3). The term was probably coined in the thirties because of the feeling that the twenties had offered hope for a person to improve his/her lot in life (Carter)
In the novel, Myrtle and George play a role as the most destructive characters. They lead to many broken relationships along with death to others and themselves. Myrtle got caught up with Tom, which lead daisy to go with Gatsby, this lead to conflict between Gatsby, Daisy and Tom. This conflict leads to the death of Myrtle. After Myrtle was killed, George killed Gatsby along with himself. In my opinion, George and Myrtle are the definition of destruction.