Dominant Characters In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1735 words - 7 pages

Authors in all stretches of literature develop characters in order to give the reader greater depth into the plot and into the nature of conflict that is occurring. Often times, there are characters that are viewed as dominant within the novel, and seem to feed off of those around them. These very characters are essential to the development of the plot line, as they generally serve as a foil to the main character, although often times, this foil is hidden until the end of the book. Francis Scott Fitzgerald does this exceptionally well, as he does a wonderful job of developing characters into this foil role throughout the book. This is seen most obviously in the characters of Tom and Daisy ...view middle of the document...

She’s a Catholic, and they don’t believe in divorce’/ Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie” (Fitzgerald 33). It is quite important to note that Nick was “shocked” by the lie, as Nick is really the only one who sees the bad sides of Tom, and even he is surprised that Tom would go through that trouble to try and get out of marrying Myrtle. This displays that Tom never had a long term relationship in his mind as he would create an elaborate lie to get out of moving forward. Myrtle’s death is also very important as it displays the consequence of his actions, and also his carelessness as he seems unaffected about the whole situation. Fitzgerald used Myrtle’s death as symbolism to Tom’s bad actions and manipulation, and the death of Myrtle was a symbol to how much the relationship meant to her, and she was better dead if they were not together. In addition to using Myrtle, Tom manipulated George Wilson as well in order to lead the relationship that he wanted. Tom made sure that George viewed him as an ally in order to gain his trust and give George the idea that Tom was nothing more than a loyal friend. However, Tom was only becoming close to him in order to have his affair with George’s wife, Myrtle. Tom tries extremely hard to become a partner of George, yet claims that “he’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive” (Fitzgerald 26). Tom’s view of George, as nothing more than a “dumb” person who doesn’t realize the actions Tom is performing behind his back, is significant as it shows he does not care about George, even though he works to become “friends” with him. Due to Tom’s overall drive to achieve the relationships he desires, George is actually a quite significant character, as he acts as an unknowing enabler to the actions of Tom. However this enabling let to the death of Myrtle, which was the consequence for George as a result of Tom’s actions. George becomes a broken man at the death of Myrtle however Tom did nothing to help him. This carelessness for George’s well-being exemplifies the fact the Tom never cared about George and was just using him, yet didn’t help clean up the mess he ultimately created. Finally, Tom used Gatsby as his fallback plan in case things went wrong in his twisted love life. Tom knew that if Daisy didn’t make him happy, he didn’t want Gatsby to be able to benefit from his issues with her. Tom felt very strongly for Daisy as he says “I love Daisy” (Fitzgerald 131) multiple times, and it would have been hard to see her with another man due to his affection. This led to his hatred of Gatsby, because Jay was beginning to win over the one thing Tom loved most, Daisy. Thus, when Daisy hit Myrtle with Gatsby’s car, Tom jumped on the opportunity to get rid of Gatsby and also find his own way out of the chaos. Tom felt little to no remorse about framing Gatsby as he believed “that fellow had it coming. He threw dust into Daisy’s eyes” (Fitzgerald 178). Often times throughout the...

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