What Myrtle’s Section Suggests About Her Relationship to the American Dream

time machine in the background man and woman holding hands man has a bag of chickpeas 500837316

Myrtle’s Pursuit of the American Dream

Myrtle Wilson is a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” who is driven to pursue the American Dream. In this section, we will explore Myrtle’s aspirations, social status, materialism, and wealth, and how they relate to her pursuit of the American Dream.

Interpreting relationship dreams.

Aspirations and Social Status

Myrtle is a woman who is not content with her current social status. She is married to George Wilson, who is a working-class man, and they live in a small apartment above their garage. Myrtle aspires to move up in society and to be seen as an upper-class woman. She believes that by having an affair with Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man, she will be able to achieve this dream.

Materialism and Wealth

Myrtle is also very materialistic and believes wealth is the key to happiness. She is fascinated by the glamour and luxury that she sees in the lives of the wealthy, and she wants to be a part of it. Myrtle’s pursuit of wealth and material possessions is evident in her desire to have expensive clothes, jewelry, and a luxurious apartment.

Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream reflects the society in which she lives. The American Dream is the idea that anyone can achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. Myrtle sees this dream as a way to escape her working-class life and to achieve the glamour and luxury that she desires.

In conclusion, Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream is driven by her aspirations to move up in society, her worldly desires, and her belief that wealth is the key to happiness. However, her pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to her downfall and tragic end.

Myrtle’s Relationships and Their Implications

Tom Buchanan and Infidelity

Myrtle’s relationship with Tom Buchanan is one of the most significant relationships in The Great Gatsby. Tom is married to Daisy, but he is having an affair with Myrtle. Myrtle knows that Tom is married, but she still wants to be with him. This suggests that Myrtle is not concerned about the morality of the situation and that she is willing to engage in an extramarital affair to achieve her own goals.

dreams reflecting relationship status

Tom sees Myrtle as a mistress rather than as a partner. He treats her with little respect and is physically abusive towards her. This is evident when he breaks her nose in Chapter 2 after she mentions Daisy’s name. Despite this, Myrtle continues her relationship with Tom, suggesting that she is willing to tolerate abuse in order to maintain her social status.

George Wilson and Marriage Dynamics

Myrtle’s relationship with George Wilson is also significant. George is Myrtle’s husband, but their marriage is strained. Myrtle is having an affair with Tom, and George knows this. However, he is unable to confront Myrtle about it. This suggests that George is not assertive in his marriage and that Myrtle holds the power in their relationship.

Myrtle’s desire to leave George and pursue a relationship with Tom suggests that she is unsatisfied with her current social status. She sees Tom as a way to achieve the American Dream: the idea that anyone can achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. Myrtle’s relationship with Tom represents her desire to move up the social ladder and escape her current life.

In conclusion, Myrtle’s relationships with Tom and George affect her character and her pursuit of the American Dream. Her affair with Tom suggests that she is willing to engage in immoral behavior in order to achieve her goals, while her strained marriage with George suggests that she is not satisfied with her current social status.

Contrasts in Lifestyle and Environment

Life in the Valley of Ashes

Myrtle Wilson’s life in the Valley of Ashes starkly contrasts the opulence and wealth of the upper class. The Valley of Ashes is a lonely and impoverished area where the working and lower classes struggle to make ends meet. The area is characterized by industrial waste and pollution, which creates a bleak and depressing environment. Myrtle’s life in the Valley of Ashes is one of poverty and struggle, as she is trapped in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job.

The New York Apartment

In contrast to her life in the Valley of Ashes, Myrtle’s affair with Tom Buchanan takes her to a luxurious apartment in New York. The apartment is a symbol of Tom’s wealth and status, and it is a world away from the squalor of the Valley of Ashes. The apartment is decorated with expensive furnishings and is a testament to Tom’s lavish lifestyle. Myrtle is drawn to this luxurious world, as it represents the American Dream of wealth and success.

In conclusion, Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream can be seen in the contrasts between her life in the Valley of Ashes and her experiences in Tom’s New York apartment. While she is trapped in poverty and a loveless marriage, she is drawn to the world of the wealthy and the promise of a better life.

Myrtle’s Character Analysis

Physical Description and Vitality

Myrtle Wilson is a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. She is described as a woman with a full figure and a sensual mouth. Her vitality is evident in her “breathless vitality” and “buoyancy” (PrepScholar). She is often seen wearing bright colors, symbolizing her desire for a better life. Her appearance is important to her, and she strives to always look her best.

Background and Actions

Myrtle’s background is not fully revealed in the novel, but it is clear that she is from a lower class than the other characters. She is married to George Wilson, who owns a rundown garage in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle is unhappy with her life and seeks to escape it through her affair with Tom Buchanan. She sees Tom as a way to achieve the American Dream, which she believes is the key to happiness and success.

Myrtle’s actions are often motivated by her desire for a better life. She is not afraid to speak her mind or stand up for herself, even if it means going against social norms. For example, even though he is married, she openly flirts with Tom in front of his friends. She also shows her independence by renting an apartment in the city to be closer to Tom.

In conclusion, Myrtle Wilson is a complex character whose physical appearance and actions reveal her desire for a better life. Her affair with Tom Buchanan manifests her pursuit of the American Dream, which she sees as the key to happiness and success.

Symbolism and Myrtle’s Role in the Narrative

Myrtle Wilson’s character is significant in the novel as she represents the corruption of the American Dream. She is a tragic victim of the society that she lives in and her actions ultimately lead to her death. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, uses symbolism to depict Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream.

The Dog and Its Significance

One of the most prominent symbols used in the novel is the dog that Tom Buchanan buys for Myrtle. The dog is significant as it represents how Tom and the upper class treat Myrtle as an object. Myrtle is seen as a possession that can be bought and sold, just like the dog.

The dog also represents how Myrtle is trying to escape her social position and become part of the upper class. She wants to be seen as sophisticated and refined, just like the upper class. However, the dog’s death symbolizes the destruction of Myrtle’s aspirations. It is also a foreshadowing of Myrtle’s own tragic end.

Myrtle’s Death and Its Impact

Myrtle’s death is a tragic event in the novel, and it significantly impacts the other characters. Her death is the result of her desire to escape her social position and become part of the upper class. Her affair with Tom Buchanan reflects her belief that she can achieve the American Dream through material wealth and social advancement.

However, her death also symbolizes the corruption of the American Dream. The desire for material wealth and social status replaces the dream of achieving success through hard work and determination. Myrtle’s death is a reminder that the American Dream is not always attainable, and that it can lead to tragic consequences.

In conclusion, Myrtle Wilson’s character is a tragic victim of the society that she lives in. The author uses symbolism to depict her relationship to the American Dream, and her death is a reminder of the corruption of the dream. The dog and its significance, as well as Myrtle’s death and its impact, are just a few examples of how symbolism is used in the novel to convey important themes.

Social Context and Commentary

v2 3hxew rgcma

Class Distinction and Prejudices

Myrtle Wilson, a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” is portrayed as a woman who is dissatisfied with her lower-class status and aspires to climb the social ladder. Myrtle is married to George Wilson, who owns a garage in the Valley of Ashes, a desolate and impoverished area between West Egg and New York City. Myrtle’s desire to escape her social class is evident in her affair with Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man from East Egg. Her relationship with Tom is a manifestation of her aspirations to be part of the upper class.

Myrtle’s perception of the wealthy is one of admiration and envy. She believes that wealth and social status are the keys to happiness and fulfillment. This is evident in her statement to Nick Carraway: “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman…but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” [1]. Myrtle’s comment highlights the class distinctions and prejudices that exist in the society depicted in the novel.

The Impact of Prohibition and Wealth

The novel is set during the Prohibition era, a time when the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol were illegal. Despite this, the wealthy and powerful continued to indulge in alcohol consumption, often in secret. This is evident in the scene where Tom takes Nick to meet Myrtle at her apartment in New York City. The group drinks heavily, and the atmosphere is one of excess and indulgence.

Myrtle’s desire for wealth and social status is also tied to excess and indulgence. She is drawn to Tom’s wealth and power, which allows him to indulge in alcohol and other luxuries. Myrtle’s desire for wealth and social status reflects the society’s values depicted in the novel. The characters in the novel are obsessed with wealth and status, and their pursuit of these things often leads to tragedy.

Overall, Myrtle’s relationship with the American Dream is one of aspiration and disillusionment. She desires wealth and social status but is ultimately unable to achieve them. Her story is a reflection of the class distinctions, prejudices, and excesses of the society depicted in the novel.

[1] SparkNotes. “The Great Gatsby: Myrtle Wilson Quotes.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, 2023, www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/quotes/character/myrtle-wilson/.

Narrative Elements and Literary Devices

Perspectives from Nick Carraway

In “The Great Gatsby,” Nick Carraway serves as the narrator and provides the reader with his perspective on the story’s events. Nick is not only a character in the story but also a literary device that allows the reader to see how other characters are viewed by someone outside of their immediate circle. Nick’s perspective on Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream is one of disillusionment.

Nick sees Myrtle as trying to achieve the American Dream through material possessions and social status. She is unhappy with her current life and sees Tom as a way to escape it. Nick, however, considers this pursuit as empty and misguided. He believes the American Dream is not about wealth and status but about pursuing happiness.

Imagery and Symbolic Settings

Fitzgerald uses imagery and symbolic settings to convey Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream. The Valley of Ashes, where Myrtle and her husband George live, is a desolate and decaying place that represents the failure of the American Dream. It is a place where people who have failed to achieve the American Dream end up.

Her apartment in New York City also symbolizes Myrtle’s desire for material possessions. The apartment is decorated with expensive furniture and is located in a fashionable part of the city. However, the apartment is also small and cramped, which symbolizes the emptiness of Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream.

In conclusion, through Nick’s perspective and the use of imagery and symbolic settings, the reader can see that Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream is misguided and ultimately unfulfilling.

Cultural and Historical References

v2 3hxfl 21i6p

The Roaring Twenties and Social Mobility

The Great Gatsby is set in the Roaring Twenties, a time of great social and cultural change in America. A booming economy, cultural and artistic dynamism, and a loosening of social norms characterized the period. The novel explores the theme of social mobility, a defining feature of the time. Myrtle Wilson is a character who embodies the desire for upward social mobility. She is married to George Wilson, a garage owner in the “valley of ashes,” a place that symbolizes the poverty and hopelessness of the lower classes. Myrtle is unhappy with her life and dreams of a better one. She sees Tom Buchanan as a way out of her miserable existence and believes that he will provide her with the luxurious lifestyle that she desires.

References to Contemporary Events

Fitzgerald’s novel is also a commentary on the contemporary events of the time. The American Dream, the idea that anyone can achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination, was one of the most important cultural and historical references of the time. Myrtle’s relationship to the American Dream is complex. On the one hand, she embodies the pursuit of the Dream, the desire for upward social mobility and material success. On the other hand, her pursuit of the Dream is misguided. She believes she can achieve happiness and fulfillment through material possessions and social status rather than through personal growth and self-actualization.

In conclusion, Myrtle Wilson’s relationship to the American Dream reflects the cultural and historical references of the Roaring Twenties. The period was characterized by a desire for upward social mobility and material success, which are embodied in Myrtle’s character. However, the novel also critiques this desire and suggests that true happiness and fulfillment cannot be achieved through material possessions and social status alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

v2 3hxfy inwz8

How is Myrtle’s pursuit of wealth indicative of her perception of the American Dream?

Myrtle’s relentless pursuit of wealth and status is indicative of her perception of the American Dream as a means of achieving happiness and fulfillment. She believes that by acquiring material possessions and social status, she can transcend her current circumstances and attain a better life. However, her pursuit of the American Dream is ultimately misguided, as it is based on a flawed understanding of what true happiness and fulfillment entail.

What role does Myrtle’s social status play in her quest for the American Dream within ‘The Great Gatsby’?

Myrtle’s social status plays a significant role in her quest for the American Dream within ‘The Great Gatsby’. As a working class member, she is acutely aware of the limitations and constraints imposed upon her by her social status. She believes that by aligning herself with individuals of higher social standing, such as Tom Buchanan, she can elevate her own status and achieve a better life.

In what ways does Myrtle’s relationship with Tom Buchanan reflect her aspiration toward the American Dream?

Myrtle’s relationship with Tom Buchanan reflects her aspiration towards the American Dream in several ways. Firstly, it represents her desire to transcend her current social status and achieve a better life through association with individuals of higher social standing. Secondly, it reflects her belief that material possessions and social status are the key to happiness and fulfillment. Lastly, it exemplifies the corrupting influence of the American Dream, as Myrtle’s relationship with Tom ultimately leads to her tragic demise.

How do Myrtle’s actions and attitudes in the novel exemplify the corruption of the American Dream?

Myrtle’s actions and attitudes in the novel exemplify the corruption of the American Dream in several ways. Firstly, her pursuit of material possessions and social status is based on a flawed understanding of what true happiness and fulfillment entail. Secondly, her willingness to engage in extramarital affairs and deceitful behavior in order to achieve her goals highlights the corrupting influence of the American Dream on individuals’ moral values. Lastly, her tragic demise serves as a warning against the dangers of blindly pursuing the American Dream without regard for the consequences.

What symbols in ‘The Great Gatsby’ represent Myrtle’s connection to the American Dream?

Several symbols in ‘The Great Gatsby represent Myrtle’s connection to the American Dream. The most prominent of these is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, which represents the unattainable nature of the American Dream. Myrtle’s own apartment, with its garish decorations and superficial veneer, also serves as a symbol of the corrupting influence of the American Dream.

How does Myrtle’s tragic end comment on the attainability of the American Dream for characters in the novel?

Myrtle’s tragic end serves as a commentary on the attainability of the American Dream for characters in the novel. Her death highlights the dangers of blindly pursuing the American Dream without regard for the consequences and serves as a warning against the corrupting influence of material possessions and social status. Ultimately, her tragic demise suggests that the American Dream, as it is commonly understood, is ultimately unattainable and can lead to ruin for those who pursue it blindly.

274153266 5634699773212417 3734244822608622643 n

Danish

Danish started working at DreasBio in 2022 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. He works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. info@dreamsbio.com

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *