“While in New York in the company of Tom and Nick Carraway, she unconvincingly acts out the role of a wealthy lady in order to feel worthy of tom: her absolute need for a mutt off of the street and her statement that her frilly and obviously costly dress meant nothing to her. Yet these overtures are rebuffed by Tom when she later chants Daisy’s name” (Wyly Michael 70). This unforgiving act of Myrtle is both shallow and immoral. She cheats on her husband George Wilson with not just any man, but a married man! This man is Tom Buchanan and him and his wife are of the upper class. The fact that she cheated on her husband to a married man at an attempt to be one of the upper class of people is pretty self-explanatory of just how shallow and immoral that is. “The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I had 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…But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon” (35). This quotation explains how she feels about her marriage. She hates her husband because he is poor. Even though she hates George she will not leave him. Myrtle is just using him for financial support and does not love him at all. How shallow can one get? Does Myrtle not have the decency to divorce her husband? Apparently not and she is willing to cheat on him with Tom Buchanan.
Myrtle also adds to this stigma. She longs for a life that is fun and glamorous, but reality is she is the wife of a pump mechanic, meaning she will never have access to mobility in class or status. She is a lower class woman, which led her to engage in an affair with Tom Buchanan; it is the closest she will come to feeling higher up socially. Myrtle will do just about anything to be a part of the upper class despite the consequences. There was even a point in time when Tom physically hits her, breaking her nose and yet she still stayed with him just to continue lavishing in this fantasy she so eagerly wanted to become real (Fitzgerald, pg 37). That scene and the dynamic of her and Tom represent the subordination of the lower class and the mistreatment of women within the lower class.
Even though the 1920s is the era of women’s rights, women are still treated poorly. Even woman in the middle class are looked at with expectations. In the article it stated, “she concludes that although there were changes in women’s lives, their achievements were, limited, with ‘progress in some spheres… matched by disappointment and defeat in others’” (Hannam 64). This relates to Myrtles situation because even though she is not in the eyes of society she is expected to obey her husband and do as she is told. Myrtle does not always do as she is told around her husband, George Wilson. She is not the perfect female with him. She actually acts a little more masculine and aggressive to show she is not weak, but around her lover, Tom Buchanan, she becomes a more weak and obedient female. That would be approved by society if they were actually married. She changes how she conforms to the expectations of society depending on who she is around. She really does not control her own life like Jordan, but she also is not forced by society to do something she does not want to do like
Myrtle Wilson is the second major character in The Great Gatsby. She is about 30 years old and is “faintly stout but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some woman can” (The Great Gatsby: Character). Myrtle is married to George Wilson, also a mistress to Tom Buchanan. She is not happy with her marriage nor her lifestyle. Myrtle is part of the lower class of society making her poor. With them being poor they end up living in their car garage. George seemed like a gentleman and that is why Myrtle married him, but turns out that he wasn’t. Tom is part the upper class of society which attracts Myrtle to him. They spend a lot of time in the city together. She has an excuse to tell George that she is visiting her sister. George is getting a suspicion that Myrtle is up to no good, and locks her up in a closet. Myrtle being upset, notices a yellow car thinking it was Tom because she noticed him driving it earlier, she runs to the car to get away from George
Myrtle Wilson, a woman of ludicrous ostentation, yearns to escape her class to enter the higher ranks. She believes a marriage to Tom Buchanan will relieve her of this lower status. Myrtle is obsessed by appearances and unaware of realities, as is shown in her excessive concern of clothing. She attempts to impress the upper society while looking
Myrtle is truly driven by money and materialism because she is unhappy with her marriage. She sees money which in this case is symbolized by Tom as her way out of her unhappy life. Myrtle is so strongly affected by money and materialism that she puts on a different persona when she is around Tom and the more elevated class. “The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur”, This quote states that her personality in the garage was very full of energy and was now replaced with a disdainful pride. This continues throughout the novel to the point where Myrtles materistalic values cause her to stomach Tom’s abuse. “Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand”. In this quote Myrtle is drunk and yelling Daisy’s name, which Tom (also drunk) takes such offence to that he results to violence.
As Myrtle’s relationship with George Wilson deteriorates and she is disenchanted with his limited lifestyle, she desires more and thus when she meets Tom he offers her this. In some distorted way, Myrtle thinks that Tom will leave his beautiful wife Daisy and marry her, Tom doesn’t truly see the relationship between Myrtle and himself being a true relationship, he just believes she is someone he can call upon unannounced and use her for a sexual relationship. But Myrtle has other plans for the two of them. This is made clear when he breaks Myrtle’s nose we she mentioned his wife’s name: “‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson. ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy Dai-‘Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (Fitzgerald, 1926)This harsh action implied by Tom, really puts Mrs. Wilson in her place, making her come to her sense of what she can and cannot say. This reaction from Tom signifies that it is not a pure love existing between them. Further, Myrtle’s desire for the material goods Tom can provide shapes her conception of their alleged love, which is evidently greatly distorted as shown through Tom’s treatment of her.
Daisy and Myrtle are greedy people who do what they want, not caring who they hurt. Daisy and Myrtle are both inconsiderate, selfish, and careless. In the novel, Myrtle does not care that she is cheating on Wilson with Tom. She does not take into account that Wilson and Daisy will end up hurt from her actions. Daisy is inconsiderate because she is just using Gatsby. She may truly love Gatsby, however, she is using him because she wants love, which she does not have with Tom. She will end up hurting Gatsby because she is giving him hope that she will leave Tom for Gatsby. Realistically, Daisy knows she will never leave Tom. Daisy Buchanan, like Myrtle Wilson, will also hurt her husband, Tom, when he finds out she is cheating on him, even though he is having an affair with Myrtle. Daisy ends up admitting she loves Gatsby in front of Tom, she says, “You always look so cool” (Fitzgerald 119). Tom is shocked and hurt by this because he thought he had his wife “under control.” Daisy and
Myrtle yearns to be with Tom and live in his wealth but is prevented from doing so by Tom and Daisy. For instance, when Daisy tries to leave Tom for Gatsby, Tom does not exactly dismiss Myrtle, “…but there is no question that she would eventually be discarded” (Donaldson). Myrtle is so infatuated with Tom, she forgot that he can just as well choose Daisy over her. He has the upper hand, as a rich man with control over women especially when it comes to his relationships. While to Tom, Myrtle’s gender has made her just one of his possessions, to Myrtle, Tom’s rich and high status as a man has made him her only path to a higher class. Due to her infatuation with Tom, she often becomes jealous and possessive when she finds a threat to their relationship. Myrtle is so overcome with desire for Tom that she cannot stand the thought of him with another women. Even when she sees Tom in the car with Jordan Baker, Myrtle’s, “… eyes, wide with jealous terror, were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she too to be his wife” (Fitzgerald 125). Myrtle is so convinced that Tom is hers, when in reality, she is really Tom’s. Myrtle has almost forgotten the fact that as an inferior women, she has little control over the situation. The reality is that Tom was in control of the relationship and used Myrtle for his lustrous desires. Tom’s rejection of Myrtle causes her to become overrun with jealousy. In
First, Tom and Daisy demonstrate their carelessness through their insensitiveness. When Tom is visiting his mistress, Myrtle, she taunts Tom by repeatedly saying “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!” (Fitzgerald, 39). This causes Tom to get aggravated and strike Myrtle in the face, breaking her nose. Tom physically abuses Myrtle and while he is under the influence of alcohol, he has the intent of hurting her, not caring if she gets injured. Tom also lies to Myrtle, telling her that he would marry her if is wife wasn’t Catholic. Tom does not care about the feelings of his mistress, seeing her as an object and not a human. Myrtle is nothing more than a way for Tom to feel powerful due to her low social status and insecurities. It is mentioned that Tom has cheated on Daisy before with a maid, further proving that Toms motive for having an affair is power. It also proves that Tom is not cheating on Daisy because he is bored, but because he does not truly love her or care for her. Tom’s lack of concern for those around him proves his insensitiveness and overall carelessness.
Myrtle is described to be more on the thicker side “She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can.” (25) She married George Wilson, an abusive man, because she thought he was a gentleman and was wealthy “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 to lick my shoe.” (Fitzgerald 34). In her eyes George is not worthy enough for her because he doesn’t have a lot of money and she’s very conceded with herself. She learned very fast she made a mistake with marrying him. “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…” (35) George just is not the man she wants, she wants a man with money, someone that can buy her luxurious items, like Tom “I want to get one of those dogs,” she said earnestly. (27) Tom will buy her the things she wants, but when she pushes her limits with him he’ll put her in her place “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!” shouted Mrs. Wilson. “I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai-” Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.
In The Great Gatsby, Myrtle is given no respect and is being treated like an object. This happened in the chapter 2 when Tom takes Nick and Myrtle to party in a hotel in New York with others. Later in the party Myrtle and Tom comes out of a room arguing about Daisy.“Some time toward midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face discussing, in impassioned voices, whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy's name. I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! And Da-” Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” This quote explains how women like myrtle are being abused by Tom and he is treating her like an object despite not having a healthy relationship. This paragraph is important because it talks about how in F. Scott’s novel The Great Gatsby Myrtle is given no respect and is being treated like an object despite being a women.
Myrtle Wilson is obsessed with leaving her poor life behind her by being with Tom but unlike Gatsby, her attempts are fruitless. She attempts to make herself seem an upper class person like when she changed her dress before the party in chapter two. She believes her husband is beneath her and talks of all low statuses as if she isn’t one of them. "I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. "These people! You have to keep after them all the time." (42)
Myrtle desires wealth and luxuries, and as a result she has an affair with Tom, who gives her anything she yearns for. Myrtle despises her lifestyle with her husband, George Wilson, due to the lower-class living and dirty, physical labor. She explains how, “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman … I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald, 34). Myrtle planned to marry a rich man, so in the future he could support her children and herself, and they would be members of
Wilson gives to Myrtle his complete trust in the same way he provides Myrtle with what she asks for, but she abuses it. She takes her husband for granted while at the same time, she gazes at Tom sitting on a pedestal she has made for him. Tom is the man that can make Myrtle's every fantasy come true, but also the man that will lead to her early death. Myrtle is seen to be a fun and floozy mistress, but not as a real wife. She, as superficial as it may be, is not someone that Tom could take to parties and introduce to his parents. Myrtle controls Wilson, while Tom manipulates her simply for enjoyment. For example, Tom tells Myrtle that the reason they could never wed is because his wife, Daisy, is Catholic and she would never stand for a divorce. In this scene, Catherine, Myrtle's sister, tells Nick Carraway, the narrator, about the reasons why Tom and Myrtle may never come