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

Myrtle’s Pursuit of the American Dream

Aspirations and Illusions

Myrtle Wilson, a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” is a prime example of someone who aspires to achieve the American Dream. She is married to George Wilson, a poor mechanic who owns a car garage in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle is not satisfied with her life and wants to escape the dullness of her surroundings. She believes that by having an affair with Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man, she can achieve the life she desires.

What dreaming of relationships suggests

Myrtle’s aspirations are fueled by her illusions of what the American Dream represents. She believes that it is all about achieving wealth, social status, and living a luxurious life. She thinks that having an affair with Tom is the key to achieving her dream, but in reality, it only leads to her downfall.

Materialism and Wealth

Her obsession with materialism and wealth characterizes Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream. She believes that money can buy happiness and that it is the key to achieving the life she desires. She is constantly trying to impress others with her possessions and her appearance, which is evident when she changes into an expensive dress at Tom’s apartment.

Myrtle’s obsession with wealth and materialism blinds her to the reality of her situation. She is so consumed by her desire for a better life that she fails to see the consequences of her actions. Her pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to her tragic end.

In conclusion, Myrtle Wilson’s pursuit of the American Dream is characterized by her aspirations and illusions of what it represents. Her obsession with materialism and wealth blinds her to the reality of her situation and leads to her downfall.

Myrtle’s Relationships and Social Aspirations

Myrtle Wilson is a complex character who embodies the American Dream’s pursuit of wealth and status. Her relationships and social aspirations are central to understanding her character and motivations.

Tom Buchanan as a Symbol of Desire

Myrtle’s affair with Tom Buchanan is a crucial aspect of her character. Tom represents everything she desires: wealth, status, and power. Myrtle sees Tom as her ticket to the upper-class lifestyle she craves. She is willing to overlook his abusive treatment of her because he offers her glimpses into a world beyond her wildest dreams. Myrtle’s relationship with Tom is a symbol of her desire to climb the social ladder and escape her working-class roots.

Contrast with Daisy Buchanan

Myrtle’s relationship with Tom contrasts sharply with his marriage to Daisy Buchanan. Daisy represents everything Myrtle is not: refined, elegant, and wealthy. Myrtle is jealous of Daisy’s position in society and sees her as a barrier to achieving her own aspirations. Myrtle’s affair with Tom is a way to gain access to the upper-class lifestyle that Daisy embodies.

Marital Struggles with George Wilson

Myrtle’s marriage to George Wilson is a stark contrast to her relationship with Tom. George is a working-class man who runs a garage in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle is unhappy with her life with George and sees him as a hindrance to her aspirations. She is willing to cheat on him with Tom because he represents everything she desires. Myrtle’s marital struggles with George highlight her desire to climb the social ladder and escape her working-class roots.

In conclusion, Myrtle’s relationships and social aspirations are central to understanding her character. Her affair with Tom, contrast with Daisy, and marital struggles with George illustrate her pursuit of wealth and status. Myrtle’s character is a tragic embodiment of the American Dream’s pursuit of material wealth and social advancement.

The Role of Class and Status

Myrtle’s Working-Class Background

Myrtle Wilson, one of the characters in “The Great Gatsby,” comes from a working-class background. She lives in a garage with her husband, George Wilson, in the “valley of ashes,” a place of poverty and despair. Myrtle is unhappy with her social status and dreams of a better life. She believes that by having an affair with Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man from the upper class, she can escape her current situation and achieve her version of the American Dream.

Interactions with the Upper Class

Myrtle’s interactions with the upper class reveal the divide between the working class and the wealthy. At Tom’s apartment in New York, Myrtle is fascinated by the luxurious surroundings and the expensive items that Tom has purchased for her. She is impressed by the parties that Tom throws and the people he associates with. However, she is also aware of her place in society and feels inferior to those around her.

Myrtle’s relationship with Tom is a reflection of the corrupt nature of the American Dream. She believes that by being with Tom, she can achieve social status and wealth, but in reality, she is being used by him for his own pleasure. Tom views Myrtle as nothing more than a mistress and does not care about her well-being.

In summary, Myrtle’s working-class background and her interactions with the upper class in “The Great Gatsby” highlight the divide between social classes and the corrupt nature of the American Dream.

Symbolic Elements and Their Impact

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The Significance of the Valley of Ashes

In “The Great Gatsby,” the Valley of Ashes represents the decay and moral corruption of the lower class. Myrtle, who is part of this lower class, is drawn to the Valley of Ashes and sees it as a place of opportunity. She believes that by becoming involved with Tom, she can escape her current social status and achieve the American Dream. However, the Valley of Ashes ultimately symbolizes the futility of Myrtle’s aspirations and the impossibility of achieving the American Dream through immoral means.

Myrtle’s Physical Description and Its Symbolism

Myrtle’s physical appearance is described as “faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can” [^1]. This description suggests that Myrtle is a sensual woman who is comfortable with her body. However, her physical appearance also symbolizes her lower social status. Myrtle’s clothing is described as “a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine” [^1], which is indicative of her lower class. The fact that the dress is spotted also suggests that Myrtle is flawed and impure.

Myrtle’s tragic death is also symbolic of the impossibility of achieving the American Dream. She is killed by Gatsby’s car while trying to escape her unhappy life. Her death represents the tragic consequences of trying to achieve the American Dream through immoral means. It also highlights the fact that the American Dream is unattainable for those in the lower class.

In conclusion, the symbolic elements in “The Great Gatsby” highlight the impossibility of achieving the American Dream through immoral means. Myrtle’s relationship with the American Dream is tragic and ultimately futile. The Valley of Ashes and Myrtle’s physical appearance both symbolize her lower social status and the corruption of the lower class.

Narrative Perspective on Myrtle

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Nick Carraway’s Observations

In “The Great Gatsby,” Nick Carraway serves as the narrator and provides insight into Myrtle Wilson’s behavior and relationship to the American Dream. Nick observes Myrtle as someone who is trying to escape her current life and status by pursuing wealth and status. He notes that Myrtle is “trying to make a fool of [her] husband” and that she is “desperately” seeking a better life than the one she has [1]. Nick also observes that Myrtle is willing to use people to achieve her goals, as evidenced by her affair with Tom Buchanan.

Character Analysis Through Interactions

Myrtle’s interactions with other characters in the novel also shed light on her relationship to the American Dream. For example, Myrtle’s affair with Tom Buchanan is motivated in part by her desire to be associated with his wealth and status. She sees Tom as a way to escape her current life and achieve her dreams. Myrtle is also dismissive of those who are not pursuing the American Dream, such as when she remarks on the “shiftlessness of the lower orders” [2].

However, Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream ultimately leads to her downfall. She is killed in a car accident while trying to escape with Tom Buchanan. This tragic ending underscores the dangers of pursuing the American Dream at any cost.

Overall, Myrtle Wilson’s behavior and relationships in “The Great Gatsby” suggest that she is a complex character who is both motivated by and ultimately destroyed by her pursuit of the American Dream.

References:

[1] SparkNotes. “Myrtle Wilson Character Analysis in The Great Gatsby.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, 2021, https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/character/myrtle-wilson/.

[2] SparkNotes. “The Great Gatsby: Myrtle Wilson Quotes.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, 2021, https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/quotes/character/myrtle-wilson/.

The Demise of Myrtle Wilson

Consequences of the American Dream

Myrtle Wilson, a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” is a prime example of the consequences of pursuing the American Dream. Myrtle, who is married to George Wilson, is unhappy with her current life and seeks a better one. She believes that the key to a better life lies in having money and status. She has an affair with Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man who represents the American Dream, and believes that he will provide her with the life she desires.

Myrtle’s pursuit of the American Dream leads to disastrous consequences. She becomes obsessed with the idea of a better life and is willing to do anything to achieve it. Her affair with Tom is a desperate attempt to escape her current life, but it only leads to more problems. Tom is already married to Daisy Buchanan, and their affair is a betrayal of both their spouses.

Myrtle’s Tragic End

Myrtle’s tragic end is a culmination of her pursuit of the American Dream. In Chapter 7 of the novel, Myrtle is hit and killed by Gatsby’s car, which is being driven by Daisy. This event sets off a chain reaction that leads to Gatsby’s death and the downfall of the characters involved.

Myrtle’s death is a symbol of the consequences of the pursuit of the American Dream. She is a victim of her own desires and the society that values money and status above all else. Her death is also a tragic reminder that the American Dream is not attainable for everyone. Myrtle’s relationship with the American Dream is one of obsession and tragedy, and it serves as a cautionary tale for those who pursue it at all costs.

In conclusion, Myrtle Wilson’s tragic end is a result of her pursuit of the American Dream. Her affair with Tom Buchanan and her obsession with money and status lead to her downfall. Her death is a symbol of the consequences of the pursuit of the American Dream and serves as a warning to those who seek it without regard for the consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Myrtle’s pursuit of wealth is indicative of her perception of the American Dream as a means of achieving social mobility and escaping from her current situation. She sees wealth as a way to elevate her social status and gain the respect and admiration of others. Myrtle believes that money can buy happiness and that it is the key to achieving the American Dream. She is willing to compromise her values and engage in extramarital affairs to attain her goal, which ultimately leads to her tragic end.

In what ways does Myrtle’s character reflect the successes or failures of the American Dream in ‘The Great Gatsby’?

Myrtle’s character reflects the failures of the American Dream in ‘The Great Gatsby.’ She represents the corruption and decay of the American Dream, as her pursuit of wealth and status leads to her downfall. Myrtle’s actions and relationships are emblematic of the emptiness and moral decay that can result from the pursuit of wealth and status at any cost. Her character serves as a warning against the dangers of the American Dream and the consequences of valuing material wealth over personal values and relationships.

What does Myrtle’s social status and ambitions reveal about the era’s American Dream?

Myrtle’s social status and ambitions reveal the limitations and inequalities of the era’s American Dream. She is trapped in a loveless marriage and sees wealth as a way to escape her situation and achieve the American Dream. However, her lack of social status and connections prevent her from achieving her goal, and she is ultimately punished for trying to rise above her station. Myrtle’s character highlights the class divisions and inequalities that existed during the era and the challenges faced by those who sought to achieve the American Dream.

How do Myrtle’s actions and relationships highlight the illusions of the American Dream?

Myrtle’s actions and relationships highlight the illusions of the American Dream by exposing the emptiness and moral decay that can result from the pursuit of wealth and status. Her affair with Tom Buchanan, a married man, is a symbol of the corruption and decay that can result from the pursuit of material wealth and status. Myrtle’s character serves as a cautionary tale against the dangers of the American Dream and the consequences of valuing material wealth over personal values and relationships.

What role does Myrtle play in showcasing the disparity between the reality and the ideal of the American Dream?

Myrtle plays a significant role in showcasing the disparity between the reality and the ideal of the American Dream. Her character represents the failure of the American Dream and the corruption and decay that can result from the pursuit of material wealth and status. Myrtle’s tragic end serves as a reminder of the challenges and limitations faced by those who sought to achieve the American Dream during the era and the dangers of valuing material wealth over personal values and relationships.

How does Myrtle’s tragic fate comment on the overarching theme of the American Dream in the novel?

Myrtle’s tragic fate comments on the overarching theme of the American Dream in the novel by exposing the emptiness and moral decay that can result from the pursuit of material wealth and status. Her character serves as a warning against the dangers of the American Dream and the consequences of valuing material wealth over personal values and relationships. Myrtle’s tragic end highlights the limitations and inequalities of the era’s American Dream and the challenges faced by those who sought to achieve it.

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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

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