‘The novel paints a world of desolation and despair. ’ How far and in what ways do you agree with this view of The Great Gatsby? I completely agree with this view everyone is in despair at some stage in the novel and everyone is depressed even if they don’t show it. Myrtle and Wilson are an unhappily married couple, they live in a small rundown town. Myrtle is Wilson’s everything, he loves her so much and everything he does is to please her. Myrtle is having an affair with Tom Buchanan. Wilson does not know about this. Tom treats Myrtle very differently to how he treats Daisy, he treats Myrtle with no respect.
Even though he lavishes her with gifts Myrtle is still not happy. Myrtle is in despair because she wants the life Daisy has, permanently. She will never be happy if her and Tom are only an affair. Yes when he looks after her she has a good life, but when they’re not together she goes back to Wilson and her life is dull again. “Myrtle Wilson’s face it seemed purposeless and inexplicable until I realized that her eyes, wide with jealous terror” This is when the Buchanan’s, Gatsby, Nick and Jordan all drive into town for the day.Myrtle sees Jordan in the car with Tom and instantaneously assumes that she is Daisy. I feel that this shows because she is extremely jealous.
“Wide with jealous terror” I think that she is feeling that she is loosing Tom and seeing “Daisy” makes her jealousy grow. She then despairs over these thoughts while she is locked in her little room. With Daisy and Gatsby now having an affair Tom gets paranoid about whether she will leave him or not. When Tom sees how the act around each other Tom starts to worry more about whether Daisy will leave him and go and live with Gatsby.
If she did, then he would have lost the main part of his life. “The immediate contingency overtook him, pulled him back from the edge of theoretical abyss” The “theoretical abyss” was the thought of Daisy and Gatsby having an affair. But then Tom, who had made some investigations into who Gatsby was, realised who Gatsby was and what he did and reassured himself that Daisy wouldn’t leave him.
This thought still put him in despair because just the slight possibility of losing his wife made him feels that way. Even though Tom and Myrtle is just an affair he really does care about her.This shows that deep down Tom does have a heart and he does care about his actions. “I heard a low husky sob, and saw that the tears were overflowing down his face” Tom is crying because he has lost Myrtle.
I feel that this shows that he really did care for her, otherwise he would be unaffected by the death. The use of the adjective “overflowing” gives you a better idea of how much he were crying. I think that a small part of the tears could be tears of joy, because now he doesn’t have to have an affair anymore and he can be faithful to Daisy.
Wilson is in complete despair when Myrtle is hit by the yellow car and murdered; he out of all the characters is at most despair. He doesn’t have money or popularity to fall back on; the only good thing in his life was Myrtle. “Then would have collapsed to his knees had not Tom held him upright” Wilson is in despair at the death of Myrtle, she was the one good thing in his life and he lost her. Wilson is weak, “collapsed”, due to the fact that Myrtle is dead. He is depressed and sad.
The way Fitzgerald writes this paints a picture in your head of how Wilson must look at this point. In the novel Nick is probably the character that is in the least despair, he is living with and witnessing all the events that are taking place but he is not living them. This makes it easier for him to be happy, but he is alone. He has Jordan for a short while but he seemed to push her away. “I’d had enough of all of them for one day” . Nick is in despair with all the other characters, because of their displays of selfishness and shallowness.
I feel that Nick is the only character who isn’t obsessed with what others think of them or how they are seen in society. I can relate to how he is feeling at this time. This is another point in the novel where Wilson is in despair. This is where he is worse off and it shows the consequences of the characters. He almost has to deal with everyone’s wrong doing and he is warily affected, along with Gatsby.
“Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete” This is another quote that shows Wilson’s despair.Fitzgerald uses “holocaust” which signifies a great destruction resulting in loss of life. When he says this I think he could be referring to the whole novel. Nothing good has come from anything; everything has only resulted in despair and desolation. I conclude that the Novel Great Gatsby paints a world of desolation and despair. Everyone is in despair at one point in the novel.
Some are more than others; I think that even though they can all be in a room together they are still all alone in life.