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The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, showed the lack of innocence in the people of the 1920’s and how it was replaced by deceit and adultery. The moral emptiness and corruption from the novel revolves around Tom, Daisy and Myrtle due to how they use deception and how that corrupts them. The three cheat on their partners intentionally. From the start of the novel, Tom is having an affair with a married woman named Myrtle Wilson, which leads to explaining how people in this situation, have no respect for each other. If one should deceive their partner, to whom that person commits his/her life to, then it is similar to deceiving everybody around him/her. However, Daisy is not the victim, for even she finds out that Tom is with another mistress, she does not fall into despair and depression. Instead, she chooses to pour scorn and take revenge as soon as it can be achieved. These people are a strong example of moral declination and lack of innocence in the novel. For they have chosen this path; they given a choice, but failed in the end.
Tom Buchanan uses deception frequently throughout the story; he lies about how Gatsby killed Myrtle to Wilson, and cheats on his wife. Adultery is a serious type of deception to another. By committing this, it breaks that eternal vow to the partner. The beginning of the story has Tom cheating on his wife with Myrtle Wilson; whom is also married. The two use deceit as if it were a toy, wielding it around as if it were harmless. Tom is already corrupt as he feels no regret with being around another woman. The trust between him and Daisy, to which was supposed to be unbreakable, is severed; reinforcing the idea of how morally corrupt Tom is. However, because the two are married anyways, he is not completely detached from his wife. And so, his affection for Myrtle is no stronger than his love with his wife. He has a sort of object-to-person possession over Daisy. During a time when Myrtle and Tom meet at an apartment, “[they] stood face to face, discussing in impassioned voices whether [she] had the right to mention Daisy’s name. ‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson. -Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” (Fitzgerald 37) Tom could not stand Daisy’s name being brought up while he is cheating on her. Is this a sense of guilt? Or maybe Mr. Buchanan is still attached with his wife? It is most likely that Tom is attached to Daisy as he fights over her with Gatsby and how there was a lack of emotion with Myrtle’s death. From this, we can infer that Tom does not even have a real bond with Myrtle or Daisy. He deceives his mistresses, the people who are closest to him, and everyone else, concerning Gatsby’s death as well; which is another example of moral corruption. Tom felt jealous about Daisy’s relationship with Gatsby and wanted revenge. Thus, by growing morally corrupt from deceiving, he tricks everyone when Wilson kills Gatsby. Since everybody thought that it was only a coincidence that Wilson killed him, the case was closed. However, in reality, it was Tom’s fault and refuses to tell the truth about how he told Wilson that it was Gatsby who killed Myrtle. And as a result, he was responsible for the murder; and this was because he wanted vengeance. Tom Buchanan’s use of deceit and revenge represents the declination of morality in the novel.
Corrupt by greed and revenge, Myrtle Wilson secretly abandons her husband’s futile hospitality and nourishes into another man’s wealth. It was the result of a bad relation to which had not been fortunate from the start. She had only married Mr. Wilson on a whim and from a wrong impression, “-[she] thought [Wilson] was a gentleman, -but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald 35). Myrtle had only married him on the notion that he was rich and out of desperation for someone to leech off of. It can be inferred that there was no real affection from Myrtle from beginning to end. Her love is just clothing over her true self, which is greed. Most likely, her attachment to Tom Buchanan is also fabricated. Like a moth to a flame, she is attached only to his money, and it is enough to convince her into cheating on her husband. This is what represents moral corruption and a strong example of greed overpowering love. Not only she commits adultery on Wilson out of greed, but out of revenge as well because, “They’ve been living over that garage for eleven years.” (Fitzgerald 35). A person with good morals would understand that Wilson is trying hard to make money from his car repair shop. However, Myrtle’s judgment is clouded by revenge and she acts by committing herself with another man. Myrtle does not care about how her husband is the one who pays the expenses and how he is the only one working. This senselessness affects Mr. Wilson later on in the story and the results are tragic. His many years engaged were for nothing as his wife had been leeching off another from the start. Myrtle’s greed, desperation and need for vengeance end up making her become the worst kind of moral corruption in a person. She shows no sympathy for the people around her, and thus, fate will also do the same.
Losing her innocence in the midst of luxury and love, Daisy’s morals decay and she desperately attempts to stabilize her life. She is tossed around between relationships and tries to hold on to the person who is closest, Gatsby. Both Tom and Gatsby are both wealthy, yet Daisy chooses Gatsby over her husband; why? Her affection for Tom is fabricated since the relationship was to only shield the pain away while Gatsby had gone to Oxford and to live a more luxurious life. While the relationship was all but just a feint, the marriage was legal; however it was not one that was cherished by both parties. Both were not loyal to each other and committed adultery outside of the relationship. This is an example of corruption about love; having to promise to stay with one another and then belittling that vow by committing adultery. This is the essence of moral decay and deception. It is also the sort of relationship in where they see themselves in the other; however they do not notice that they themselves are corrupt. And because the two are so in love with themselves, it concluded them into admiring each other. Also minding that Tom simply needs Daisy for a stronger social status and how Daisy only needs the financial support from Tom. Other than that, it is the only thing keeping the marriage intact, money and status. The impression about how morally corrupt the two are only gets worse, as stated before, Daisy loves Gatsby, but to what extent? Daisy did replace him with a much wealthier man in the past; however she coincidentally meets Mr. Gatsby again. Knowing that he is now far richer, she runs to his arms. At the near end of the story, Daisy lets Gatsby take the blame about Myrtle’s death, and Tom believed that he had deserved to die. The two do not feel guilty at all; they are both high-class adults that have never grown up from their spoiled-rotten state. Daisy’s love for Gatsby was too weak, a disrespectful kind of love. Also, she most likely went with Gatsby in spite of how, “Tom’s got some woman in New York” (Fitzgerald 15). Out of envy, she tried to make Tom feel the same way she is feeling when he is with Myrtle. Neither of them had to bother with cleaning up after themselves or making ends meet. Daisy and Tom never had a care in the world; doing whatever they wanted to do. Overall, Daisy, and her relationship with Tom is a potent example of how the love in this story is all fake and how morally corrupt it is to toss around the subject of love as if it had no value to human life.
Because of how the characters in this novel portray greed, envy and desire for revenge, it easily describes how lives are ruined as moral corruption grows more powerful in a person’s life with each use of deception. Tom, Daisy and Myrtle lie, cheat and deceive the people around them to achieve what they want. For Mr. Buchanan, he has been disrespecting and cheating on his wife. His emotions gradually harden from the use of deceit overtime and that taints him. And as a result, uses deception as the solution to his need for vengeance. In accordance with the use of deceit to solve the desire for revenge, Myrtle tricks her husband and cheats on him. She wants luxury and money; however Myrtle is chained to the poverty of her husband. Hence, Myrtle’s desire finally breaks loose as she submits herself to Tom as a desperate act of revenge for having to live such a poor life in Wilson’s garage. Ultimately, her act of deception to her husband and Tom’s wife ends her morally corrupt life. To further the idea of how the use of deception ruins a person’s morals, Daisy comes to mind. She was unsatisfied with Gatsby because he was poor in the beginning. Although she has some affection for him, her greed overpowers her love and hence, betrays Gatsby’s trust. Not only in the start of the novel where she deceives others, but at the end of the story as well. Daisy murdered Myrtle; however she lets Gatsby take the blame. She tricks everyone and saves herself without feeling remorse. The characters show no shame or humility for their actions. They know that what they do is sinful and morally corrupt but yet still continuing to deceive others.
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