The Great Gatsby Is a Tale of Deception

2 February 2017

“The Great Gatsby is a tale of deception, adultery and murder” how do you respond to this view. Adultery, murder and deception are all consistently involved within Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” are important events to developing our understanding. The three factors show how reckless people were, give historical context and create situations which mean we can see the true colours of many of Fitzgerald’s characters. The outlook given by this sentence however does the novel no favours.

It’s a very narrow view, leaving out important themes of the novel such as love, the American dream, society and class, memory and the past. It’s well noted that “The Great Gatsby” is not a love story and this is certainly true as the novel contains so many important issues, however the book is far more based on the notion of love than deception, adultery or murder. Wilson’s feelings for Myrtle are perhaps the only which can be accurately considered as love.

Daisy’s character destroys the idea of love. Daisy has married Tom for his money and status in society rather than for love and shows little love for their daughter telling the nurse she “hopes she’ll be a fool” and weeping. Daisy’s reaction to her daughter is not that of a maternal mother’s. There are moments in the book where Daisy believes she loves Gatsby but it is actually the adoration Gatsby bestows upon her that she loves.

Fitzgeralds novel seems to give the message that conflict is inherent in love, even Gatsby who is often seen as the love-struck victim of the novel is more in love with his memory of her. Nick’s narration of the American dream is very cynical, he believes it impossible to achieve the same status as someone born into wealth no matter how hard you work. Money is normally the goal for most with American dream but young Gatsby set his eyes on a woman and life he could only achieve with an extremely high status in society.

Hard work and merit are shown clearly in Gatsby not to be enough, he has “colossal” wealth and shows much more love and would probably be a lot more faithful than Tom but it’s not enough for someone like Daisy being born into such a superior exclusive class of people. The contrast between West Egg and East Egg clearly shows this with Nick and Gatsby living in West Egg “the less fashionable” where those born into a less luxurious existence reside, outsiders separated from Tom and Daisy by a river both metaphorically and literally. There is undeniably also lots of historical reference.

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