The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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"'You see?' cried Catherine triumphantly. She lowered her voice again. 
'It's really his wife that's keeping them apart. She's a Catholic and they don't believe in divorce.'
 Daisy was not a Catholic and I was a little shocked as the elaborateness of the lie." Page 38

My question is if two people that are married cannot understand each other so much, then why stay married to one another? Tom could have Mrs. Wilson instead of staying with Daisy. Why lie about something unless there is a reason? 
My conclusion: money and image. Let's face it, from what it sounds like Mrs. Wilson is not exactly in the same social stature as Tom and, well, Daisy just so happens to be. To be with Mrs. Wilson would ruin the image that is so sweetly set up by the "old money" stereotype. Wealth marries wealth and poor marries poor. 



4 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

I agree with you that that is why Tom may stay married to Daisy. But, I don't believe Daisy is that shallow. I think she is afraid to leave and be without money or be looked down upon.

I also think that if Tom would allow it the Mrs. Wilson is a gold-digger and would marry him.

By the way, I refrenced you in my blog on the Great Gatsby.

Christopher Dufalla said:

This is a very interesting perspective, Nikita. While the "Roaring 20s" were a time for permiscuous behavior no one of stature wants to be defamed. It would make sense that someone of such arrogance, such as Tom Buchanan, would want to keep his social stature. It would appear as though the idea of having a mistress is one thing, but to actually leave one's wife for the mistress is out of the question, especially when the mistress is of a low class.

I suppose this was a time where one's image mattered more than anything, so a rich man must stay married, and a woman must stay married to her cheating husband, despite the fact that he cheats on her, simply so that she is not left on her own in the streets. What tolerance women had to have in those days. I agree with you, I don't really see the point in why they would stay married even if there was infidelity, but I don't know. It seems as though getting divorced and having everyone know would be worse to these folks than just having to say "oh yes, he has another woman, but he's married. sigh." it irritates me that society was like this at one point, to be completely honest.

Marie vanMaanen said:

I also found it bothersome that these two couples would stay married when they so clearly did not want to be with their partners. I think for one thing, at this time in society, it would give a very bad image to be divorced, especially for the women. Daisy and Mrs. Wilson rely entirely on their husbands; if they were to get divorced, it could be difficult for them to get remarried and have someone to take care of them. Also, for Tom, it does not seem like it would matter who he is married to. Jordan mentions that Tom was in an accident with a chambermaid shortly after Tom and Daisy were married. So while this may be Mrs. Wilson's first affair, it certainly does not sound like Tom's first. Continuing with that thought, Daisy is of a better social class than Mrs. Wilson. So while it does not really matter who Tom is married to, it provides a better social image if he is married to Daisy rather than Mrs. Wilson.

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