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Morality In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

666 words - 3 pages

“Force always attracts men of low morality,” (Albert Einstein). A moral being is someone who can be seen as honest, considerate, and loyal. These traits are the essential components to creating a well-rounded person; however, these characteristics were void in the context of The Great Gatsby. In Fitzgerald’s so-called, “Jazz Era”, people were vulgar and ignorant of the true virtue of the American Dream. From the organized crime of New York to the intrapersonal relationships of the partygoers, morality appeared to be omitted from the American society. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, Tom was the most immoral character because his lack of honesty and devotion for those around him led to Gatsby’s death.
Tom Buchanan’s unfaithful characteristics led to weak interpersonal relationships which can be attributed to his arrogance. The first essential trait which is found in all moral people is devotion to their friends and family. By ...view middle of the document...

Tom was so unfaithful that he could not find the significance for being present at his daughter’s birth. His morality is flawed in that he has no regard for his wife or his only child. While other characters in the Great Gatsby were not necessarily devout, Tom’s character is the most immoral because he does not have the decency to remain faithful in his personal life. As if his personal life was not skewed enough, Tom was an ardent liar.
Tom’s dishonesty and deceit was influenced by a preceding grudge which ultimately led to Jay Gatsby’s death. There are times where people feel incline to lie in order to preserve personal agendas. The consequences of these actions can range from minor conflict to more profound effects. The climatic series of events towards the end of Fitzgerald’s plot and Gatsby’s death were direct results of Tom’s blatant dishonesty. Had Tom initially told the truth, he may have avoided the deadly consequences. The day after Myrtle’s death, Wilson was morbidly focused on finding who killed his wife. After seeing Dr. Eckleburg's advertisement, he concluded that it must have been her lover that killed her. After confronting Tom, Wilson was led to Gatsby which ultimately led to his death and subsequent suicide, (Fitzgerald 160). Tom did not know whether or not Gatsby was actually driving the “death car”; however, he explicitly knew Wilson’s reaction would lead to an extreme action. By lying to Wilson, Tom put Gatsby into an unavoidable danger, even though he did not kill Myrtle. Tom’s disregard for morality led to the death of Jay Gatsby because of his dishonesty.
Tom is the most immoral of the characters in The Great Gatsby because of his dishonest and skewed virtues in life. The reader quickly gains the assumption of this claim because of the severity of the direct result of Tom’s behavior. By leading an unfaithful personal life and no care for honesty, Tom’s actions proved to be detrimental to those around him. Devotion and honesty are the two most important traits in one’s character because they are the cornerstone for subsequent traits such as loyalty and responsibility. Without these two basic traits, it is nearly impossible to lead a moral life. Had Tom been a more moral being, Gatsby may have survived his horrible flaws.

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