The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

817 Words3 Pages
On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of failed love between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The main theme of the novel, however, is comprised of a much larger, less romantic scope. Fitzgerald portrays the roaring twenties as a time of corroded social and moral values. This is shown by the empty pursuit of pleasure, gluttony, and pure shallowness of the rich. Some of these materialistic views of the societal decay of today can be seen by the rich and famous in everyday life. One example of the moral decay of the upper class in the novel is when Tom Buchanan repeatedly cheats on his wife Daisy with multiple women, with his main mistress being Myrtle Wilson. Not only does Tom cheat on her, but he doesn’t even try to hide it. He enjoys showing Myrtle off to people as some sort of prize he is excited about winning. “The fact that he had [a mistress] was insisted upon wherever he was known. His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntered about, chatting with whomsoever he knew” (Fitzgerald 24). Tom is a hypocritical controlling racist, who has no moral qualms about his affair with Myrtle. However, when Tom catches wind of Daisy and Gatsby having an affair he freaks out and confronts Gatsby. Tom demands the highest respect from those around him, but at the end of the day he is a careless man that only worries about himself and his money. Tiger Woods is the most famous name in golf today, but not
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