The Great Gatsby - Eden Imagery Essay

1023 Words Dec 13th, 2000 5 Pages
In the Great Gatsby, each character is longing for one particular paradise. Only one character actually reaches utopia, and the arrival is a mixed blessing at best. The concept of paradise in The Great Gatsby is a shifting, fleeting illusion of happiness, joy, love, and perfection, a mirage that leads each character to reach deeper, look harder, strive farther.
There is Myrtle Wilson's gaudy, flashy hotel paradise in which she can pretend that she is glamorous, elite, wanted and loved. She clings fiercely enough to this ragged dream to brave the righteous anger of Tom Buchanan by voicing her jealous terror that he will return to his wife. There is a desperation to her full, spirited style of living, she wants so much to escape the grey,
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Daisy and Tom are bereft of these dreams. Daisy at one point in the novel suddenly rebelled, realising that she did not love the man she was going to marry despite his rich gifts, and Jordan describes her struggle " "Tell 'em all Daisy's change her mine. Say ‘Daisy's change her mine!' " She began to cry -- she cried and cried . . . She wouldn't let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up into a wet ball and only let me leave it in the soap dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow" (page 83). Society in the form of Jordan Baker was there to spread on more lies to cover the rough spots, to make the surface elegant and hope no one had depth enough to look beneath it.
When Daisy marries Tom "without so much as a shiver" she becomes an empty person, who lives, but takes no joy in it. It could be said that she just exists. When Gatsby returns with all her old dreams in his hat and his glittery mansion across the bay, like some handsome prince come to rescue her, Daisy tries but cannot return to the time that Gatsby has been living in for the past five years. She has become the shell that Jordan fixed up and sent off to a wedding, one of the "careless people" that Nick describes her as.
Tom and Jordan are careless and destructive because they never have anything to care about. For them, life has been money and bright lights,