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The Trageic Hero George Wilson In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1202 words - 5 pages

There are plenty of heroes in the human society: tragic heroes, anti - heroes, and the old - fashioned courageous heroes. Although all of these heroes are appealing and fascinating, the most interesting hero to read and study is the tragic hero. A tragic hero is a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. An illustration of this hero can be exemplified In The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The tragic hero displayed in the novel is named George Wilson. Mr. Wilson can be seen as an unusual character in the sense that he does very little and has a unique personality, which allowed for a tragic twist nearing the end of the novel. Mr. Wilson is an important player in The Great Gatsby and portrays characteristics of a tragic hero because he is an innocent person with great goals and dreams, however, this leads his thoughts and beliefs in the wrong direction. Because of this, one can elicit pity and fear from Mr. Wilson because he is not able to clearly see what is really happening around him.
While certain characters in novels have flaws that provide a mysterious or strange image toward them, Mr. Wilson is completely far from that “mysterious” feel, until we catch a glimpse of his true colours nearing the end of the novel. Throughout the book, Mr. Wilson is merely a person who works in a car garage all day, just to save enough money to relieve himself out of his terrible position. “[He’s] been here too long. [He] wants to get away. [His] wife and [him] want to go west.”(Fitzgerald. 123) This quote exemplifies how Wilson wants to shift from the Valley of Ashes to a more decent household that will satisfy his greater needs. These personal goals to succeed in life is a characteristic of a good person. When Tom Buchanan and Nick Carraway arrive to Mr. Wilson’s house for the first time, Mr. Wilson unconvincingly shows that he is doing fine with his business, when in reality he is in a tough position. Tom asks, “How’s business?” and Wilson replies that “[He] can’t complain”.(25) Although George is in the position that he is in, he still wants to feel happy and wants to show that he can still achieve and succeed. While passing by George’s house to catch up with Myrtle, we find that Mr. Wilson allows his wife Myrtle to do what she wants and when she wants. Myrtle supposedly “[see’s] her sister in New York”. (26) Mr.Wilson trusts her and enjoys the fact that there should be freedom in a marriage. All of these examples represent characteristics of a good person, and in the end illustrate personalities of a tragic hero.
With Mr. Wilson’s innocent personality, it comes with some downfalls and leads to having a very distorted perception of reality. George Wilson often has trouble picking out the relationship that is happening between his wife Myrtle and Tom Buchanan. Mr. Wilson does not realize that “Tom Buchanan and his girl went up together to New York”.(26) This implies that even though...

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