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Destructive love in The Great Gatsby

Destructive love in The Great Gatsby

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Destructive love in The Great Gatsby

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  1. Destructive love in The Great Gatsby

  2. The couples • Tom and Myrtle • Gatsby and Daisy • Nick and Jordan

  3. Tom and Mytrle • The destructive element of Tom and Myrtle’s relationship is a result of the indulgent lifestyle that Tom exposes her to. • They do not see each other in the same way.

  4. Myrtle • Myrtle becomes something of a spoilt child as the result of Tom’s generosity- through no fault of her own. • When Myrtle found out that George’s wedding suit is borrowed, she “lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon” • We already know that she is the type to obsess over material things • You could argue that it was inevitable that the indulgent lifestyle of the upper class would change her.

  5. The destructive element • Nick remarks that after Myrtle has changed her “costume”, “Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected, and “as she expanded the room grew smaller around her”. Despite the fact that Tom is funding her lifestyle, Myrtle has fallen into the role of a powerful self-made upper class woman. • Her life here is so different from that of the Valley of Ashes that she has invested herself in it entirely. • Tom, being Fitzgerald’s chauvinistic and arrogant antagonist- who spends most of the novel being assaulted with a dictionary- resents this. • Because Tom and Myrtle come from such different financial backgrounds, they perceive Tom’s gestures in different ways. Tom takes on the role of the provider in Myrtle’s life, who gives her everything that her husband cannot. Through this he gains her devotion but, typical of his persona, he does not want a wife; he wants a mistress. Myrtle however does not see Tom as just an affair; she see’s another husband. Myrtle likely believes that Tom is going to leave Daisy any day now, which is why she feels justified in crying out “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!”- she thinks that the word has lost its meaning. • Tom and Myrtle lose one another through a veil of money, which ultimately leads to Daisy’s death.

  6. Most importantly… • When Myrtle runs out to Gatsby’s car, she is not just running from her husband. • She believes that, despite his violence, and despite earlier mistaking Jordan for Daisy, that her new husband has come to remove her old one. When She runs from her house she is seeking not only Tom but the restrictive- literally physically- working class life, towards the indulgent yet imaginary lifestyle of Tom Buchanan’s wife. • She is blinded by the perks of the bourgeois. And this ultimately kills her. • Tom kills her with indulgence, just like he “broke her nose with his open hand.” • Also, George embodies working class society.