February 17, 2005

A Group of Decieving People

While reading, "The Great Gatsby” I had many feelings towards all of the main characters in the story. I honestly can't say that I think anyone was really themselves. Everyone adjusted their role according to who they were around or who they were talking to. If you look back it was very obvious within the first chapter - they all manipulated each other. The two women, Daisy and Jordan, were not able to make one decision on their own without asking questions or looking to one another for approval. No one was comfortable being themselves.

I think the main problem in this story was all the characters lacked the ability to communicate with one another. Daisy was only able to hold a conversation with someone when it was about an easy, light subject. When Jordan said, "Don't talk I want to hear what happens." It made me assume that she and Jordan did not have a very open friendship with one another if she had to eavesdrop on her "best friend." And what bothered me even more about Jordan was that she actually gossiped about Daisy and Tom to Nick. "You mean to say that you don't know? I thought everybody knew."

It seemed to me that Tom had some real issues in this story. Tom was definitely to people in this story also. He was a husband and a boyfriend to two different women. His actions show us that he was very untrusting and violent and had no respect for anyone. He actually had the nerve to be friends with George when he knew that he was involved with his wife. The only people that were present in Tom’s life were people that he knew he could control. He had full control of Daisy because he knew that she was aware that he was cheating and knew that she wasn’t going to leave him. He had full control over Wilson because Wilson needed his business. He had control over Myrtle, he would demand something and she would do it. “I want to see you. “Get on the next train.” He also had control over Nick. Nick said, “Though I was curious to see her, I had no desire to meet her-but I did. He literally forced me off the car.” Right now in the story everyone needed Tom. Daisy did not want a divorce and Myrtle wanted him as her boyfriend, Wilson depended on him for his business, and Nick had to be polite because it was Gatsby’s only way of getting in contact with Daisy.

The two main people that Nick manipulated were Jordan and Gatsby. At first he acted like he like Jordan but later on he came to admit he “wasn’t actually in love with her, he felt a sort of tender curiosity.” In the book he talks a lot about his thoughts, but never mentions it to the people it affects. He knew that Jordan was a liar and new that she only dated dumb guys who wouldn’t catch on to her tricks. I assume that is why she is dating Nick. She thinks he is dumb because he makes himself come across that way. They have this relationship that makes you think that they are somewhat together, but they aren’t. They did not have any true feelings; they did not trust one another. I think that they got together because they were going to be around each other and they decided it would be a good way to waste time. Nick’s relationship with Gatsby is very confusing, possibly the most confusing of them all. Nick knows when Gatsby is lying and never questions him. He just listens to Gatsby tell lie after lie. This is understandable, I guess, to a certain extent. The confusing part is that Nick is loyal to him. He likes Gatsby, he keeps him company and sticks up for him to people he hardly knows. When Gatsby is down he knows that Nick will always have something positive to say in response to help bring him back up. Nick cared bout how Gatsby felt. “You’re worth the whole damned bunch put together. I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to the end.” After Gatsby’s death Nick tries to do everything he can. He called, visited and wrote letters to people hoping that someone would attend the funeral. No one did and that is how Gatsby’s life ended.

Lastly, I’m going to talk about good old Gatsby. He had a way about him. People were constantly asking question about him and wondering where he came from. In the beginning I thought Gatsby had the life. He had money, parties with beautiful girls attending, and did exactly what he wanted. But unfortunately, I do not think that describes the life of Gatsby. I do not hate him- I pity him. He made his life what he thought everyone would like. He did not have a mind of his own. Clearly, he was just stuck in the past and could not get out of it. He lied from the beginning to the end. He lied to Daisy, Tom, and Nick. I don’t think he intentionally lied to hurt people. I think it just came naturally to him. Gatsby tried everything he could to get Daisy to leave Tom and be with him. It seems that would have made him content. Gatsby’s problems all began because his priorities were not in order. He put Daisy first and Daisy put him last. There was nothing good that came out of their relationship except for tragedy. Whether or not you like Gatsby doesn’t change that fact that he cared deeply about her and she turned his back on him. He saw something in her, obviously something that her husband did not. In the end, I don’t think that Gatsby’s death changed the story that much because he would have been dead either way. He finally lost Daisy forever and that was all it seemed that he was living for.

Posted by GinaBurgese at February 17, 2005 04:11 PM

I don't think that Myrtle just wanted him as a boyfriend. She wasn't content with a life of poverty. Myrtle wanted more, she was using Tom as a means to pull herself out of poverty. Not realizing that Tom didn't love her. He was only using her till he got tired of her, then he would leave. she never realized that she never had a chance to leave the life she was born into...yet she wanted to and in the end got herself killed for it.

Posted by: Erica Knight at January 21, 2006 03:02 PM
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