The Contribution of George and Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is about the rise, the promise and the failure of American Dream. Some minor characters such as George and Myrtle Wilson have contributed to the development of the novel by providing us a contrast of their society that they are living in to the richer society in Long Island as well as a contrast of ideas in terms of modern American Dream.
First of all, George and Myrtle Wilson are husband-and-wife who lives in the Valley of Ashes, as depicted in Chapter 2. They are the by-products of the corruption of the American Dream. As a result, their lives – bordered on hardship – can only be described as sustainable. In contrast, people such as Tom and Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby are the ones who have benefited from the corruption of the American Dream. This is clearly portrayed in Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 respectively on the lavish, excessive and careless lifestyle and the grandeur of residence that the Buchanans and Gatsby possess. The Wilsons’ barely sustainable lifestyle is clearly shown in the beginning of Chapter 2 whereby the type of place that they are living in is described as “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens and the interior of their house is depicted as unprosperous and bare. On the contrary, the Buchanan’s house is narrated as “a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay, the lawn started at the beach and ran towards the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walls and burning gardens”, while Gatsby’s house is illustrated as “an imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side… and more than forty acres of lawn and garden”. From these substantiations, this clearly shows a contrast of lifestyle that the Wilsons and the wealthy ones have. By doing so, Fitzgerald has allowed us to make decisions and judgements regarding the societies in the 1920s.
Besides this, the Wilsons themselves play an important role in providing insight into the duality opposing aspects of the modern American Dream. The original American Dream was based on the assumption that each person, no matter what his origins, could succeed in life on the sole basis of his or her own skill and effort. However, the modern American Dream...