becomes a key factor in helping us to find happiness in life. Later in the novel, we discover that Daisy is left wondering whether “she married the wrong man” (she married Tom but would she have been happier with Gatsby?). Myrtle brazenly declares that she did marry the wrong man . She now regrets marrying George. Catherine challenges her by saying, “you were crazy about him once.” Myrtle denies this, saying, “The only crazy I was is when I married him.” Myrtle goes on to tell us that the reason she married George was because she thought he was a “gentleman,” meaning rich and handsome. George might have been handsome in his younger days, but he certainly was not rich. Myrtle goes on to explain that he had to borrow the suit he got married in. She only found out it wasn’t his suit, when some guy came knocking on her door and asked her to give back the suit. Myrtle says she just cried her eyes out when she found out she had married someone who was so poor. Myrtle has been married to George for 11 years and he has not been able to become successful. He barely manages to pay his bills, working in his garage, buying and selling used cars. Myrtle now realizes that it is unlikely that George will ever become wealthy and that is why she wants to leave him in order to be with the millionaire Tom. When Myrtle first arrived at the apartment she changed into a flashy party dress. This is symbolic of her wanting to shed her working-class background and enter the life of the rich and glamorous in society. Myrtle then gives us a flashback, telling us how she first met Tom. They were sitting across from each other on a train, giving each other the “eye.” Myrtle could tell by the way Tom was dressed that he was very rich and she also thought he was handsome. Tom touched her and she says she was going to call the police on him. However, she decides to get in a cab with him instead. This was the start of their sexual relationship. Myrtle declared, “You can’t live forever. You can’t live for ever.” This seems to suggest that Myrtle realized that she was starting to get older. If she waited any longer to find herself another man it might be too late since she might not be attractive anymore. Therefore she decides to have some fun and go out with Tom.
Later during the party, Myrtle and Tom get involved in a heated argument. Tom tells Myrtle never to mention Daisy’s name. Myrtle defiantly says, “Daisy, Daisy, Daisy.” Tom gives her a vicious slap across the face and breaks her nose. This appears to suggest that Tom does not respect Myrtle and has no intention of leaving Daisy. Unfortunately, Myrtle cannot see how cruel Tom really is. When the party is over, Nick goes down to Mr. McKee’s apartment. He sees four photographs which Mr. McKee has taken. Each of them have symbolic importance in relation to the novel.
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- Spring '10
- The Great Gatsby, Arnold Rothstein, handsome Gatsby