Theme Of Immorality In The Great Gatsby

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Individuals in the upper classes have more to fall back on, such as money and a seemingly endless supply of lovers, so when tragedy strikes, it may seem like a big deal in the middle class, but it represents nothing more than a mere piece of gum on the bottom of their shoe to those in the upper class, causing them to appear uncaring and immoral. This can best be seen when Tom realizes that Myrtle has died. When Tom learns that Myrtle was the woman hit by the unknown car, the reader sees him mourn on the car ride home, briefly allowing “tears to overflow down his face”, before he runs back into Daisy’s arms, thereby coming across as careless and immoral (Fitzgerald 141). This same carelessness can be seen through Daisy’s reaction to Gatsby’s…show more content…
When individuals want something bad enough, there will eventually come a point where they will be willing to do whatever necessary to get what they want, even if that means sacrificing their own morals. This irrational desire is present in both the upper and lower class, however, Fitzgerald makes this most apparent in the upper class. When those in the upper class desire something, they go after it without thinking of the moral repercussions. This can best be seen through Tom’s affair with Myrtle. During his affair, Tom doesn’t outright lie to Daisy, but he keeps her in the dark just enough so that he can have his cake and eat it too. Tom’s desire for Myrtle has compromised any moral values he may have had, but also serves to show that he and Myrtle were truly made for each other. While Tom is using Myrtle to stifle his desire, Myrtle is using Tom to achieve her desire of entering into the upper class, even if that means sacrificing her morals by cheating on her…show more content…
However, although it is the typical American Dream to become a rich and successful member of the upper class, gaining entrance into a higher social class does not equate happiness and success. Out of all of Fitzgerald’s characters, it was only Nick Carraway who came to this realization before tragedy had time to strike. Nick, the only morally centered character in Fitzgerald’s work, comes to the realization on his 30th birthday that he has no time for childish games while on the “portentous, menacing road of a new decade” (Fitzgerald). As a result of this, Fitzgerald chose Nick to narrate the novel, so as to allow readers to see how social class can darken morality. Myrtle, however, thought that status and money was the key to happiness, and as a result, went against her morals to found an opening in the upper class through Tom, but in the end her immorality cost her her life. The same can be said about Gatsby, who took part in shady business dealings to become rich and worthy of Daisy’s love, however, in the end his immorality and recklessness cost him his life. Following this pattern, it is easy to see how the contrasting morals of Fitzgerald’s characters are the effect of time spent in their respective social
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