The Great Gatsby Major Themes A. Bigotry Bigotry was mostly portrayed through Tom. Tom was a very intolerant about anyone that wasn’t like him. He verbally criticized other races including the blacks. He also won’t try to hide his discomfort with you if he doesn’t like you. Another form of bigotry is the way that people acted towards Gatsby when he moved in. when Nick was talking to Katherine at Tom and Myrtle’s apartment, she said that he was German and a descendent of the Kaiser. She claimed it would be bad if he ever discovered any information that would be detrimental to her health.
There are a lot of people talking about Gatsby and what is being said does not do him justice. (117) B. Irresponsibility There are many forms of irresponsibility present in the Great Gatsby. The one that sticks out to me the most is the way that Daisy drove while in Gatsby’s car. Daisy had been freaking out at the hotel that they were at in the city and she was mentally unstable. Her reckless driving technically killed three people. One was Myrtle, the second was Gatsby, and the final person was Wilson. These were the results of chain reactions.
Another concept of irresponsibility was the number of cases of adultery. Daisy was in love with Gatsby and Tom’s mistress was Myrtle, plus all the women that he flirted with. This carelessness lead to the loss of trust and web of lies that formed between everyone involved. (124) C. What money can’t buy: Happiness Most of the characters in this story are unhappy with what they possess. Nick is the only exception. Although Daisy and Tom are filthy rich, neither of them are truly happy. Tom is not content with having Daisy for a wife, so he has a mistress in New York, Myrtle, who is married to George Wilson.
Daisy is unhappy because her husband is seeing another woman. Gatsby is now probably the richest man in the area, but for him, a life without Daisy is pointless. All in all, the only thing that can make these people happy is positive human interaction. (101) D. Corruption in capitalist America The way that Gatsby obtained his money is the best example of the corruption of capitalist America. Nick questioned him up front and personal about one of the rumors that he had heard which was that he had killed a man. Gatsby answered “Just one? ” which obviously implies that he had been in that business for a while.
Gatsby’s involvement with Meyer Wolfsheim brought him down the wrong path morally, but earned him a great deal of money. This goes to show that to get the amount of money you want, you don’t need to work for it. You just have to be involved with the right kind of people. (110) E. The death of a dream I think the main dream that was lost in this story was Gatsby’s. He had always imagined that after he had obtained his fortune, Daisy would long to be with him. When he was killed, he was unaware that Daisy had no intention of leaving her husband in order to be with Gatsby. Gatsby died with his dream.
Another dream that was torn apart was Wilson. He seemed like a very good guy and I don’t think he deserved what he was given. Myrtle was unfaithful and he wanted to get away from it all, but when she was killed, he lost everything. His vision of the future was destroyed and life as he knew it would be lost forever. (120) F. Reality vs. fantasy This concept was a hard blow for some of the characters. Gatsby had always dreamed that his beloved Daisy would come back to him as long as he had money. He thought that she would leave her unfaithful husband and live with him for the rest of their lives. In reality, Daisy had chosen to stay with Tom.
Gatsby thought it would be so easy for her to leave Tom, but they had a child and a home together and Daisy still had feelings for Tom. Also, Daisy kind of lived in a world where everything should be perfect. She soon found out that that wasn’t the case at all. I believe that Wilson is the only one that had to truly deal with reality. (125) G. True love vs. obsession Both of these themes can be found in Gatsby himself. As Daisy rummaged through his things, she found that he had kept clippings of her in a scrapbook. I believe that to be obsession because they weren’t even dating when he cut them out.
He also has the characteristics of true love. He seemed to be a passionate and “sentimental” man and he did love Daisy very much. Another case of obsession was when Daisy cried her eyes out over the shirts that Gatsby owned. She was obsessed with the material things in life and loved Gatsby that much more when he had luxuries to share with her. She also had a love for life. She only wanted to think of things that made her happy. That was a true love that she had the whole time. (137) H. Love for convenience I believe that Daisy’s whole life was simply convenience.
It was convenient to love Gatsby when he was with her many years ago, then easy to love Tom because of the amount of money he had along with the strand of pearls that he gave her, and it was convenient to love Gatsby when he came back into her life. Daisy never really thought about tomorrow, but instead lived for “today”. Also, whenever Gatsby and Daisy wanted to be together, they conveniently used Nick’s house as a haven when Gatsby’s home was occupied. As a whole, the rich side of the human population generally has a love for convenience because they never have to worry about the cost of anything or ever getting into trouble legally. (126)