The Tragedy Of Myrtle Wilson Essay

921 words - 4 pages

Myrtle’s ambition proves to be her fatal flaw in being the tragic hero. The goal of her ambition is to lead her to a higher social status. In pursuit of her ambition she expresses that her husband, George Wilson, serves as an obstacle since he is in the opposite direction of where she wishes to be. She expresses disgust in George for committing actions that are considered lowly by her standards. She was particularly unenthused with her husband after it is revealed that “he borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married” without telling her. (35) She expresses her marriage as regretful, which illustrates her ambition to strive for better, being Tom. Essentially it illustrates that she would rather be treated with little respect to achieve status, rather than to be treated with respect without status. Myrtle not only exudes her ambition through her pompous attitude, but also in the manner in which she carries herself. She is a young woman in her “middle thirties, and faintly stout, but (carries) her surplus flesh sensuously,” and although she is not attributed with beauty she is somewhat charismatic. (25) The way in which she carries herself may be considered sexual, and her persona is alluring for men such as Tom. Her seducing persona illustrates her ambition in being a temptress in order to move up the social ladder.

Myrtle’s perception of reality is blurred. She fails to recognize her social standing as someone of the lower class, and instead brings upon a self lead pretentious charade that she is of the upper class. She has an acquired habit of stating that various aspect in her life are under her expectations. She insists that she only “married him because (she) thought he was a gentleman”, and that he “fit to lick (her) shoe” because of his actual social status. (34) Although she implies that George is undeserving of her, she leads on the false pretense that she is of better blood, when she is from the exact same socioeconomic background, this being the working class. Her efforts are directed in the continuation of her pretense in radiating an overall demeaning attitude. She expresses dissatisfaction with the service she receives from the boy bringing the ice, “(raising) her eyebrow in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders” insisting that people such as him must be carefully overlooked. (32) She expresses that in having a demeaning attitude, she sounds the same as someone in a higher class, giving her a heightened sense of superiority. Appearance is another factor that Myrtle tries to tie into her elaborate facade. When meeting with Tom and a group of people in the citym, she...

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