The Importance of George Wilson in The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a superbly written and an intrinsically captivating novel that deals with the decline of the American Dream and how vapid the upper class is. To illustrate and capture the essence of these themes, Fitzgerald uses characters Gatsby, who epitomizes the actual American Dream, and Daisy, who is based on the ideal girl. Yet, as these characters grasp the topics Fitzgerald wants to convey, there is something inherently like missing from the story as a whole. To fill this void, Fitzgerald utilizes minor characters as a means to move the plot along, develop characters further, and build upon the themes present in the novel. One such character is George Wilson.
George Wilson is the naïve husband to Myrtle Wilson, the woman having an affair with Tom Buchanan, who is the "brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen"(Fitzgerald 16) husband to Daisy Buchanan, the woman whom Jay Gatsby, the main character, is in love with: a very removed yet significant role in the story. Evidently playing the role of the common man, in a story revolving around wealth and possessions, George Wilson is the owner of an auto body shop and is described as a "spiritless man, anemic and faintly handsome"(29). Wilson's common man image helps to further develop the theme of Wilson is deeply in love with Myrtle to a point where he is paranoid of losing her. "`I've got my wife locked in up there,' explained Wilson calmly. `She's going to stay there till the day after tomorrow and then we're going to move away"(143).
Truly a character that centers on irony, Wilson's wife is indeed having an affair with Tom Buchanan. Even more ironic is the fact that Tom, an adulterer himself, says to Myrtle of their affair, George Wilson, and Wilson's unrequited love and faith towards his wife that "he's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive"(30). The paradox here is that Tom is, in a sense, George himself as Tom's wife, Daisy, is in the process of being taken away from him.
As seen with the aforementioned example, Wilson also plays a role that involves parallelism. His situation parallels Tom's, as both have their wives being stolen. His...